Mouse For Sale
watching that ish tonight
i shall be watching this tomorrow night at this time! :D
The most dramatic fall of all time.
harry “diva” potter
Growing up watching the Smurfs on TV, I was super excited when I heard there was going to be a Smurf film this past summer. I was used to seeing all the characters in cartoon forms so I was a little anxious when I realized the film was not all animated. At the end of summer, I went to go see The Smurfs, directed by Raja Gosnell. The film was about the evil Gargamel, and his cat, as usual, trying to capture the adorable and tiny blue Smurfs. Unfortunately, when Gargamel attacks the Smurf village, they are forced to run and they end up in New York City through a magic portal. The Smurfs then encounter the couple Patrick and Odile who help them try to find their way back home. After many adventures, the Smurfs are able to return home and like most films, live happily ever after. In my opinion, the only thing that I really enjoyed was the cuteness of the Smurfs. The overall plot was not so interesting.
After the film was over, I thought back and realized something that usually does not bother me, the fact that the film had real people and places, but it also had animated figures. The Smurfs is definitely not the only film that uses the mixture between real people and animated figures. In The Smurfs, I did not feel that the animated Smurfs worked well in a real life situation. In my opinion, the film would have been better if it was all computer animated. Although the plot would have had to change, the overall appearance would have been better and even more believable. Although my opinion is a little biased because I am used to seeing the original cartoon form of the Smurfs I still think the film would have been a better if it was completely animated.
Another set of films that does this are the Harry Potter films. The films also combine real people with different characters with many animated characters, and not to mention all the special effects. In the Harry Potter films, the animated creatures fit in better and even seem as if all these characters could possibly be actually real. One character that stands out the post to me is Dobby the house elf that appears in the second and seventh films. I am not going to lie, when I first say Dobby I thought he was very creepy, but I soon grew to adore the little guy. Dobby seemed almost like a person, except he was an elf and wasn’t actually real. The realistic look of Dobby makes him seem as if it is possible to have elves in the world. In The Smurfs, the Smurfs look like cartoons, not like they could actually be real.
Although I only compared two films, the dilemma of successful animation is there. Some forms of animation work well only if the entire film is completely animated, while others may work well when the animated figures are incorporated into real life scenarios and people. It all depends on not only, the plot, but also the animators who created all the characters and different scenes.
A couple weeks ago, my friend recommended a film called Goal! The Dream Begins. Being the soccer lover I am, I decided to watch it, thinking it would be an average movie.
A Goal! The Dream Begins is a film directed by Danny Cannon. It is about Santiago Munoz, also known as Santi, has the dream of many, becoming a professional athlete. Since he was a young boy, he discovered his passion for soccer, but with financial troubles, he never fully focuses on his dream but instead on helping his family. Santi grows up in L.A. with the voice of his father always telling him to be realistic and start his own business. With constant discouragement from his father, Santi never tries to fully pursue his dream that is until a scout Glen, from England, happens to see Santi playing. Glen tells Santi that he will call an agent for the Newcastle soccer team in England. Santi’s hopes lift with the possibility of his dreams coming true. That night he tells his father, grandmother, and younger brother the news and once more is put down by his father, but his grandmother and brother support him. The big game comes and Glen is waiting for the arrival of the agent, as is Santi. The agent does not show and Santi begins to think that maybe his father is right. Glen becomes frustrated with the agent and calls the Newcastle coach in England that same day to tell him about Santi. Glen calls him at 3:30 a.m. England time, forgetting the time difference and he is told that if Santi can come to England, he will have a tryout. Santi is completely excited and begins to save up for a trip. Between helping his father with the gardening business and working in a restaurant, and still playing soccer, Santi almost has enough money for his trip. One day when he comes home from work, he notices his father had gotten the new truck he had been speaking of. Santi knew his father did not have nearly enough money to pay for the truck so he quickly goes and checks his boot, where he stores his money, and realizes his father took all the money. Santi is enraged and confronts his father and he says they were starting their business together, but Santiago tells him no, because he is not going to live his father’s life. Santi’s grandmother overhears this argument and she sells some jewelry she had to purchase Santi’s fairs to England. She tells Santi that he must leave the same day and he does, without saying goodbye to his father. Santi arrives in England, and Glen comes to welcome him and arrange his trial. On the day of his trail, it is raining and the field is muddy, a complete change from the field he plays on in L.A. Santi keeps falling, not accustomed to the new feel of the field. The manager rejects Santi, but Glen convinces him to get another chance, become he was nervous and not fully adjusted. The manager gives Santi a one month trial and goes to pass his medical tests. He meets the nurse and lies about his asthma and manages to pass the test. Everything is starting to look up for Santi when he learns he will be playing on the reserve team for Newcastle. His first game, Santi waits to take out his asthma inhaler when he accidentally drops it, and another player crushes it on purpose. Without his inhaler, Santi does not play well at all, and has a hard time running. After the game, the manager tells Santi that he is off the team. And Santi is devastated and decides to return home. On his way to the airport, Santi shares a cab with Gavin Harris, a player from Newcastle. Harris recognizes Santi and asks what happened. Harris goes to the manager and convinces him to let Santi stay for some more time. Santi, now more comfortable, begins showing his great soccer abilities and is taken off the reserve team. Santi thinks he was removed again but is told by his manager that he doesn’t play for the reserve team anymore, but the first team. Santi is a substitute for one of the players, and when the player gets hurt, Santi gets to play in one of the games. This is Santi’s first game on the first team. Meanwhile his father walks into a restaurant and sees the soccer game is on. His father had never watched Santi play, but stays when he sees his son. His father watches the entire game and Santi scores a goal, winning the game. His father is very proud of his son and yells “That’ my son!” to the other fans in the restaurant, but he never tells his family he was there. He is told he will play for Newcastle’s final game against Liverpool and Santi is very happy. One day when training, Glen tells Santi his grandmother is calling. Santi learns that his father had a heart attack and passed away. The news destroys Santi because he feels he disappointed his father. He decides to return home but at the airport, he stays for the game and does not return home. In the final match of the game, the score is 2-2. Harris is tripped and receives a free shot. Harris tells Santi it’s his shot and Santi scores making the score 3-2 in Newcastle’s favor. Santi’s grandmother and brother were watching the game in the same restaurant that his father had. When Santi scored the last goal, his grandmother said a similar phrase to her son’s, “That’s my grandson!” and two fans that were there for the other game said that they knew because they had seen Santi’s dad watching and was very proud of his son. Santi’s grandmother calls Glen to speak to Santi after the game and congratulates him. She then tells him that his father did watch his game and Santi if overcome with emotions. The film ends with Santi on the field screaming with joy, realizing his dream came true.
One of the aspects I really enjoyed about this film was the soccer game shots. It was interesting to see the difference between an actual soccer game on TV, and a soccer game in a film. Of course in the film, they mostly focused on Santi and other well known characters as opposed to an actual game where everyone is shown. Another part of the soccer scenes that I thought were well done were the moving scenes. There were many parts in the film where they filmed the soccer ball moving and it was fairly easy to keep track of the soccer ball and who had it. I also enjoyed the long shots they filmed when passing the ball. Although there were some minor errors, I thought it was overall a well done film. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who likes soccer or who just wants to watch a good film.
photography- Carla Garcia
One of my favorite computer animated films is Ratatouille, directed by Brad Bird. The story revolves around a rat named Remy but is usually referred to as the little chef by Linguini, a garbage boy that is hired at the famous Gusteau’s, a famous restaurant in Paris, France. Remy wants to become a chef and likes to watch Gusteau’s cooks and one day he sees Linguini accidentally spill a soup and he tries to make it again. Remy goes into the kitchen and to fix the soup and is seen just after he had finished the soup. Linguini, unaware that Remy fixed the soup, is worried that the soup he created is being served to the guests. When the waiter returns, he tells everyone the soup was a success. Colette, another chef convinces their boss, Skinner to make Linguini to recreate the soup. Meanwhile Linguini goes to get rid of Remy the rat but realizes that it was Remy that was the one who made the soup a success and takes him home. Remy and Linguini discovers that by pulling Linguini’s hair, Remy can control his movements. They practice all night until their technique is mastered and the next day, they both go to work; only Remy is under Linguini’s hat. With the help of Remy, Linguini is able to recreate the soup and is made the new cook. Skinner is still suspicious of Linguini and while trying to learn more about him, he discovers that Linguini is Gusteau’s son and the rightful heir to the restaurant. Remy also discovers this and tells Linguini and Linguini becomes the new owner. As Linguini gets all the attention, he becomes upset and allows his family and friends to raid the kitchen but is caught by Linguini and is thrown out. The next day, critic Anton Ego is coming to review the restaurant. Ego had caused Gusteau’s to lose one of their starts the last time he came. Skinner had witnessed Remy and Linguini argue, and when Remy leaves, he captures him and puts him in a cage. Linguini is now alone to impress Ego and his entire staff is counting on him. When Linguini finds Remy, he apologizes and then returns to tell his staff the truth and show them Remy. They all leave Linguini but Colette returns only to prove that anyone can cook as Gusteau used to say. People begin to arrive and Remy gets his rat friends and family to help. Everything is looking up for everyone when the health inspector comes in when there is a kitchen full of rats. The other rats tie him up and lock him in a pantry. Remy decides to make ratatouille and they get to work. Skinner also walks in and is thrown into the pantry with the inspector. When Linguini serves Ego, he is so delighted with the dish he asks to see the chef. Linguini and Colette wait until everyone leaves to present Ego to Remy. Ego is first shocked but is ultimately impressed and writes a great review for the restaurant. Even though Gusteau’s received a great review, it was closed when the health inspector reported in was infested with rats. Ego then helps create another restaurant with the help of Linguini, Colette, and Remy. It is named Ratatouille and the chef is Remy.
One aspect I found interesting of the making of the film was the creation of the food and characters for the film. The filmmakers needed to create realistic computer animated food. The animators of the film along with the producer Brad Lewis were allowed to work with Chef Thomas Keller in his well known French Laundry kitchen. By doing so, the animators knew how most of the food actually looked so they would be able to recreate it in the film. The animators also got a rat expert to bring some rats in so Remy would be as realistic as possible. They also used a lot of clay to get an idea of how all the characters would look. I think that Ratatouille had an overall good plot, but the animation of the film was what causes it to be one of my favorite animated films.
Having many little cousins means having to watch many little kid movies, not that I ever mind. Over summer my little seven year old cousin decided we were going to watch Rango, directed by Gore Verbinski. Rango is a computer animated film featuring Johnny Deep as the voice of Rango.
Rango is a pet chameleon who believes he is an actor. One day, he falls from his owner’s car in the middle of the desert. While realizing he is left behind, he meets and armadillo named Roadkill who he learns is looking the Spirit of the West. As he goes on into the desert, he nearly escapes being eaten by a hawk and Rango looks for a place to spend the night. The next morning, Rango meets Beans, an iguana, which takes him to the town of Dirt. While there, Rango takes this as an opportunity to create his greatest role ever. He pretends to be Duragno, a very tough chameleon. As he creates a story of all his dangerous adventures, he runs into the outlaw named Bad Bill. Bill challenges him to a shootout and Rango is completely unprepared. As their battle is about to begin, the hawk that tried to eat Rango appears and scares Bill away. The hawk then turns to chase Rango and Rango manages to kill the hawk by crushing it with an empty water tower.
After killing the hawk, Rango is named the town sheriff. Meanwhile, Beans discovers that the town’s water reserves are low. After hearing about Rango, she is skeptical and tells Rango to investigate the town’s water problem. That night, Rango unintentionally gives some mole and prairie dog robbers the location of the bank and tools to break into the vault. When the town people find their water stolen, Rango organizes a group that finds the bank manager, Mr. Merrimack dead from being drowned. Rango and the others find the robbers in a mountain, but are greatly outnumbered. They manage to take the bottle and once Rango and his men have the bottle where the water is stored, they realize it is empty. The robbers confess they stole the bottle when it was empty. When they return to Dirt, Beans and Rango suspect that the Mayor has been buying land, to find more water and get more power. When Rango confronts the Mayor, but he denies everything that Rango said. Once Rango leaves, the Mayor gets worried that Rango may find out his plan and calls in Rattlesnake Jake to get rid of Rango.
When Rattlesnake Jake arrives, he discovers Rango has been acting to be someone he is not and is run out of town after being humiliated in front of the town. Rango goes into the desert where re meets the Spirit of the West. Rango calls him the “Man with No Name”. After taking to the Spirit, Rango runs into Roadkill and strange cacti that move and lead him to Las Vegas. Rango learns that Dirt’s water supply comes from Las Vegas and that someone shut off the water line leading to Dirt. Rango realizes that it was the Mayor that cut off the water supply. Rango returns to Dirt and he calls out Jake for a duel with a single bullet, a distraction so that the robbers of the water, now helping Rango, and the moving cacti can flood the town with water. Although it all does not go according to plan, Rango is successful in revealing the Mayors true actions and returns the water back to Dirt and is named a hero.
When I finished watching Rango, I noticed that the film was not only very entertaining, but also had a great message for the audience; never be someone else, just be you. During the film, Rango was pretending to be someone he wasn’t and in the end when he was his true self, he was the best he could be, a hero.
The 1960 film, Macario, directed by Roberto Gavaldon, is about a poor native worker of Mexico. Macario is a woodcutter and has been poor all his life. He struggles to food his wife and children because he receives such little pay. Once day, Macario sees a wealthy family ordering many turkeys and he dreams to eat a turkey all by himself. He tells his family that he wants a turkey to himself and that he will not eat until this happens. After a day of not eating, his wife is in the village and she sees a turkey and steals it. She hides it from her children and gives it to her husband the next day before he goes to work. M acario goes into the forest to eat his turkey and while he is there he encounters three men. The first is the Devil, who tries to bribe Macario with gold to get a piece of the turkey. Macario tells him no and he finds a new place to eat. As he relocates, Macario encounters a second person, God disguised as an old man. Macario does not give him turkey either becau se he tells God that God is not interested in eating the turkey, but getting Macario to do a kind action. He thinks that both God and the Devil have a way of getting what they want by themselves. As he moves again, he meets another man, dressed in worn out clothes. Macario knows that this third person is Death and he gives Death half of his turkey. Death is uncertain why Macario gives him half and Macario responds; when Death appears, there is no time left for anything, and by giving Death half of the turkey, he would delay Death from taking his life by allowing him to eat the turkey. After hearing this, Death tells Macario to consider him his friend and gives him special water that can heal anybody. There is only one condition, if Death appears by the head of the ill person, he will die, but is he appears at the person’s feet, Macario can give him a drop of water and they will live. Macario is doubtful and death tells him that they will meet later that day to prove he is correct. When Macario returns home, he finds his son ill after falling into a well. Death is at his son’s feet and Macario gives him some water and the little boy is cured. Stories in the village grow and Macario is known as a healer. Macario eventually opens up his own clinic and makes a lot more money and buys his family a new house, clothes, and one day he even buys every member of his family their own turkey. As Macario’s business is growing, the town doctor is losing business. The doctor reports him to the church as a heretic. When he is imprisoned, the governor’s son becomes ill and they ask for Macario’s services. If he cures the boy, he will be free and if he fails, he will be burned at the stake. As he goes to see the boy, he finds death at the boy’s head. Macario desperately begs Death not to take him and he even moves the bed so Death appears to be by his feet. Macario escapes through a window and ends up in the forest where he first meets Death. He finds death in a cave that is filled with candles. Death tells him that every candle represents a person’s life. Macario asks to see his candle and he sees his candle is about to go out. In order to save his life, Macario takes his candle and runs out. Meanwhile his wife and some villagers are out looking for Macario because he has not come home. His wife finds Macario where he originally ate the turkey with Death. Macario is dead next to the turkey that was cut in half. One half is eaten, and the other is not. As the film ends, it leaves the audience with the question; who ate the half? Did Death eat it or did Macario?