Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie Time!

I've built up a small collection of videos recently that I wanted to share with you guys. In addition, I will give a few of my thoughts on the new Pirates movie, On Stranger Tides. I'll be following that up with a small surprise, so stay till the end (or just scroll down to the bottom there. Yeah, just like that. Good!)

First of all, World of Color was recently updated. This "new" version has a few small updates, albeit enough to apparently dub it "World of Color 1.5". Among the additions are a few new effects such as lasers and projection on California Screamin' (previously used for TRONcore) and a new expanded Pirates of the Caribbean that has replaced most of what I refer to as "the villians section". The new show transitions directly from Little April Showers to Pirates and then on to the Stampede, bypassing the Hellfire and Night on Bald Mountain sections. I really like the soundtrack for the new pirates section, and the fire is excellent. When I saw the show back in late April, the Pirates section then had little use of fire, and instead used it during the Hellfire scene. I like this use of it much better, especially towards the end of the segment (you should be able to tell what I'm talking about). The lines are used perfectly to segue between songs and add humor. I think the most impressive idea shown with this update is the possibility to update the show quietly at night and then surprise the fans with the new segement(s), making the show have more of a modular feel to it. I'm sure this opens up a new world of possibility (excuse the pun) for the show. Anyway, the video below starts off on the new Pirates segment and then continues through the rest of the show. Oh, and don't forget to watch for the addition of Tangled during "So Close".

Next, I'm showcasing two funny videos I found recently. The first of the two shows an A Capella group performing a medley of Disney tunes. While normally impressive, this particular show gets really funny around the 6:15 mark. I still recommending you watch the whole thing though, to appreciate the effort. And the guy with the afro at the beginning looks a lot like Corbin Bleu....

Next is a video of John Lasseter (who I always want to call "Lassie") of Pixar and Hawaiian-shirt fame, discussing a certain collection of his. He admits to having over a thousand of these, with around 374 in "active rotation". Anyway, I guess I watched this initally because I was either strangely interested or slightly bored at the time. By the way, this video was filmed for the San Francisco Chronicle on April 1st, and that date becomes important at 3:48 if you feel like skipping to that point.

And finally for the surprise. I actually saw this posted on before finishing this post and I thought it was too important to skip posting. It's a movie trailer for a movie coming out this Thanksgiving, and I can't really find a way to introduce it, so just watch for yourself. And enjoy.

Oh yeah, I guess I forgot about that review of On Stranger Tides. Well, I saw it Saturday night for free at the local IMAX theater, and I really enjoyed it. I think the film did a very good job booting a new trilogy, one that looks like it should end better than the last one did. The only reason I didn't particularly care for Pirates 2 and 3 was the increasingly convoluted storyline. This new film takes the series in a new direction without Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightly, and most of the old cast and crew. In fact, I think the only characters carry on into the fourth film are Captain Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, and Gibbs. Depp's performance is once again practically flawless, and Rush and Depp continue to play off of each other very well. There are several action scenes (for what would be a pirate movie without any swashbuckling adventure?), some love scenes, plenty of humor to keep people laughing but without becoming annoying, and, unfortunately, cheap 3D tricks. I didn't see the movie in 3D, but there were several things that I could tell were pretty much disgused 3D tricks. This disappointed me the most, simply because I don't care for swords and things sticking out in my face just because they can. If done right, I don't mind, but there are very few cases of it being done right in all of Hollywood. I really enjoyed the soundtrack, as expected from the talented Hans Zimmer. He brings back many of the old themes with wonderful variations that make the tracks enjoyable again. Another great addition to the track is the use of guitarists Rodrigo Y Gabriela for a greater Spanish/latin flair to the soundtrack. As far as Blackbeard, I felt like he was a better character than Davy Jones, through still somewhat disappointing. However, I doubt this is a product of poor acting, because Ian McShane's performance is spectacular. Overall, I would rate this fourth installment as not quite as good as the first, though it comes very close, and much better than the second and third. It is definitely worth watching, and the choice of 2D vs 3D is entirely up to you.

Now I think I've rambled for long enough for a short post. And for those of you who scrolled down here just to see the surprise, shame on you! Besides, you missed it, so you're just going to have to scroll back up to the top and start over like a good little reader. See you all next time!