Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Top 10 Cutest Mute Characters


  Don’t we just love those cute little characters that don’t say much but convey plenty through their cut innocents? I could honestly fill a list entirely of the 100 cutest mute characters ever represented in movies or TV shows but I’m going to keep it simple and list my personal top 10 cutest mute characters. Now the character doesn't have to be completely mute to make my list, some characters like WALL.E and Pikachu are only restricted to one word sentences, so they still count. Also I’m only looking at animated characters because there’s just way too many live action cut mutes to choose from including R2-D2 (Star Wars), Gizmo (Gremlins), Bubo (Clash of the Titans), R.A.L.P.H (Spy Kids 2), Toto (The Wizard of Oz) and too many other pets to count. So with all that said, here’s a list of some of the cutest silent characters of all time.   


#10 Luxo Jr.  (Pixar Icon and Luxo Jr. short film

                                   

This may seem like an odd place to start things off, but in all honesty, the Pixar studio’s chief logo character disserves a lot more attention as one of the most adorable cute characters. First of all, it’s no small accomplishment to take a basic, house hold item like a lamp and make it cute. But Luxo’s playful nature and squeaky sounds are more than enough to make him cute in his own right. Is it any wonder we see him before every Pixar movie?  



#9 Scrat (Ice Age Series


While this sharp toothed squirrel isn’t exactly cute, it’s his hilarious antics and never ending desperation to retrieve a single acorn that makes him so captivating. This character has virtually nothing to do with the movie’s plot, story and has little to no involvement with any of the main characters. Yet, his scenes are far more fun to watch than anything else that happens in these movies. He might just be the greatest background character of all time and the only reason I’d want to watch further “Ice Age” sequels.  



#8 Meeko, flit and Percy (Pocahontas


Most Disney movies will provide one, maybe even two silent, fun, animal sidekicks, but Disney’s “Pocahontas” is kind enough to give us three for the price of one. Their all very cute, very likable and provide lots of comedy. While each character is cute individually, it’s the interactions and comedic situations they constantly get in that make them so much fun to watch. It’s an especially nice touch that the villains pet dog Percy turned good and became friends with our lead hero’s. All in all, there a fun trio of cute mute’s that always manage to put a smile on my face.  



#7 Morph (Treasure Planet


This is perhaps the most imaginative cute character I’ve ever seen. A slimy, pink alien that has the ability to fly and shape shift into anything his size. He’s a bit of a loose cannon, doing whatever he wants to do, whether that means playtime or honestly wanting to lend a helping hand during a situation. With his cute little voice pronouncing words in a messy jumble, imaginative design and no shortage of playful energy, Morph is a unique little creation that absolutely deserves a spot on my list.   



#6 Tinkerbelle (Peter Pan


Over the years, Tinkerbelle has gone on to become one of Disney’s most iconic and famous characters. She’s even become the magic kingdoms mascot. She’s a strong, passionate little fairy that speaks through a variety of body movements, facial expressions and a surprisingly heated temper. It’s actually her stuck up pride contrasting with her bubbly persona that make her so likable. Tinkerbelle’s attitude and personality actually helped pave the way for many of Disney’s later princesses like Jasmine, making her a timeless gem amongst other mute characters in cinema.    
  


 #5 Maximus and Pascal (Tangled)


Oh, I love these two, they’re both so charming and their personalities are of the wall. Maximus is perhaps the funniest horse character I’ve ever seen, he’s so committed to bringing a thief to justice and every time he’s on screen just cracks me up. The chameleon named Pascal is also very cute and likable, with complete devotion to the lead princess Rapunzel and a charming, stuck up attitude that’s all his own. Both characters are a lot of fun and make for two of the greatest mute characters I’ve ever seen.    



#4 Dumbo (Dumbo



This was the first title character in Disney history to have virtually no lines of dialog, yet he’s still an enduring character that holds the show together with ease. With his curious perspective of life, abnormally large ears and unbelievably big heart, Dumbo plays to our emotional sides and I can’t help but enjoy every second of his screen time. How can you resist a character as heartwarming and lovable as this?    



#3 WALL.E (WALL.E


This poor little guy is left alone on planet earth to be a garbage collecting robot. Yet, through all his beeps, squeaks and quirky mannerisms, WALL.E demonstrates that he’s a little robot with a big heart, intellect and a wide variety of feelings. Much like Dumbo, this is another title character that carries the entire movie with very little to say, but his expressions and surprisingly honest emotions are so captivating, that we’ll stick with him on his journey. He is without a doubt the cutest robot I’ve ever seen in a movie, and to dethrone R2-D2 is no small accomplishment.      



#2 Zipper (The Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers TV series



You’d think that a little blue house fly would be the least useful member to a team of rescuers, but on the contrary, he’s just as heroic, determined and selfless as any of them. In fact, he’s probably got the biggest heart of any member on the team and will always do his best to lend a helping hand. I’ve personally adored this TV show ever sense I was I child, and Zipper always stood out as one of my favorite, adorable sidekicks. With his big eyed expressions, amusing little squeaky voice and selfless need to be there for others, Zipper is a so lovable that he’ll make you feel guilty for ever swatting at a fly.    



Before I reveal my number one pick, here are my runner ups....
                                                       
                      
Sparky (Frankenweenie)
Gromit (Wallace and Gromit)
Momo (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Figaro (Pinocchio
Dopey (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Spike and Champer (The Land Before Time)
Snoopy (Charlie Brown)













#1 Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon



There have been some special pets on my list, but for a young Viking named Hiccup, he’s got the greatest pet of all time, a fire breathing dragon lovingly nicknamed toothless. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you can’t help but wish for a special connection of your own with a creature as awesome as this. It may seem odd to call a dragon cutter then the previously mentioned characters, but honestly, there’s so much more to Toothless then just an adorable mug.  This dragon is just brimming with personality, charismatic traits and a loving bond with his master that allows him to just warm our hearts. His lovable nature alone earns him a spot on my list, but the fact that such a playful personality comes from a monstrous dragon like this makes him so much more special and personally, the absolute cutest mute character of all time.  

                                                             The End

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Godzilla (2014, First Impressions) (Movie Review)


     It’s about time Godzilla had a proper American movie, sure there was that one movie that came out in 1998, but that was largely dismissed by viewers and has gotten a reputation for being one of the worst movie blockbusters of all time. I always felt that American audiences could never fully appreciate Godzilla as one of the greatest movie monsters of all time, but now he finally has a fighting chance and the result is one of the best monster movies I’ve seen in years.  

     Honestly, I think this film gets everything just right, Godzilla’s battles are big spectacles, with some awesome new monsters, a refreshing tone and the movie is very smart by giving us just enough monster action, without getting to over blown. There’s actually just enough human drama to help balance everything out. It may annoy some people that the humans get a lot more attention than the big G, but I thought it helped to the films advantage. The performances are all really good and they help offset seeing monsters in action. It’s also a nice treat to see Godzilla as more of a hero instead of the primary threat. He’s still dangerous but he’s not out to destroy the world, instead he’s determined to defeat other giant monsters that are wreaking havoc across the globe in order to restore things to their natural balance.  

     There’s actually quiet a lot going on in the story, including a subplot that’s very reminiscent of the 1998 American “Godzilla” movie. One of the giant monsters lays eggs in a condemned building, a small team of solders have to go in to destroy them. I was surprised how similar the two films were in this regard, there’s even a moment in which the monster singles out the humans responsible for destroying the nest. This will either make or break the film for some viewers, personally, I thought it was done fairly well.   
  

      Godzilla’s new design looks great and every time he was on screen was electrifying. It’s just a fast paced thrill ride that American Godzilla fans deserve. There may not be much more to it than just a fun, destructive monster movie, but it’s done well, with an excellent tone, strong cast, top notch visual effects and a surprisingly sharp atmosphere. Personally, this is my favorite Godzilla movie to date, which is no small accomplishment, especially considering that I’ve seen and enjoyed all 30 of his movies. I give the 2014 motion picture “Godzilla” 4 stars out of 5.      

My Top 10 Favorite Godzilla Movies


Of all the giant monsters to grace the silver screen, I love me some Godzilla. Ever sense I was a child, I’ve been watching his silly, rubber suited monster classics. There completely cheesy, laughable and good entertaining fun. Obviously, I prefer movies with more quality, but after watching the resent 2014 “Godzilla” movie, I’m suddenly taken back to my child hood, when giant monsters were awesome. As of 2014, Godzilla has had 30 motion picture movies, and yes, I’ve seen every one of them. So to celebrate the revival of my favorite movie monster, here’s a list of my personal top ten favorite Godzilla movies.



#10 Godzilla VS Megalon (1973)

 Undeniably this is one of the silliest entries in the series but it was also the first classic, rubber suited, Japanese Godzilla movie I ever saw, making this a campy, nostalgic treat. In this movie, Godzilla teams up with a cheesy, giant robot super hero called Jet Jaguar, that alone makes this one of the most memorable. Together they battle two of Godzilla’s greatest foes, the space monster called Gigan and a massive bug with drills for hands called Megalon. It’s always fun to watch Godzilla in a tag team match, and this is without a doubt one of the most ridiculous battles in the whole series. It may be a stupid film, even by Godzilla standards, but it’s just so bad it’s great, and the movie makes my list just for Godzilla’s slow motion, Matrix style, drop kick. No joke, it’s the funniest thing you’ll ever see in a monster movie.



  


#9 Godzilla VS Mothra (1992)

 The giant butterfly Mothra is undeniably one of Godzilla’s most famous opponents and this is the movie that introduced me to her. Most fans like the 1964 movie “Mothra VS Godzilla”, but I personally prefer this 90’s remake from the second Godzilla series. In this film, Mothra once again has to defend the people of earth from Godzilla but she also has to contend with her evil brother named Battra, which makes things all the more exciting. This film definitely highlights Godzilla’s second series, which is personally my favorite chain of Godzilla films, and they’ll be plenty more on my list.




 


#8 Godzilla VS The Sea Monster (1966)

 Just about every Godzilla movie features giant monsters destroying big cities, which is great, but this movie has a very refreshing setting that feels so much more appropriate for Godzilla. An evil organization is using an islands human inhabitance as slaves to build bombs and other weapons. No one can escape because the bad guys control a giant sea monster that guards the island. Now it’s up to our favorite rubber suited monster to liberate the island people and defeat the monster. Then Mothra joins in the action, and it's always great to feature her in one of these films. Aside from an awesome premise, this film actually has a memorable collection of human characters, including a villain with an eye patch, which is reminiscing of the doctor from the first film. There’s also one heck of an attractive island girl who’s so hot she actually gets Godzilla’s attention. No joke, Godzilla actually displays some King Kong characteristics.   


     


#7 Godzilla (1998)

 This film has a pretty bad reputation for being one of the worst disaster movies of all time, even Godzilla fans seem to hate it, but personally, I have a soft, nostalgic spot for this film. I was about six years old when I saw this and it was actually the movie that introduced me to the king of the monsters, launching my overall fondness for the series. It may not be high class entertainment, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from Godzilla films in general, which are really nothing more or less then fun, destructive monster movies and I still find this to be a relatively entertaining monster flick.


 


#6 Godzilla VS Space Godzilla (1994)

 Godzilla’s adversary in this movie may have one of the stupidest names ever, but still, it’s a real treat to see the big G battle another Godzilla that’s even more powerful than he is. This is yet another really fun entry from the second series and features some awesome monster battles. Then there’s the lead girl named Miki who’s been a main stay character throughout the second series and probably one of the most memorable human characters from the franchise. This is the film that really highlights her character and demonstrates how useful she can be, especially with her own unique telepathic powers.






#5 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (also known as “Gojira”) (1954)

 Despite the out-dated effects and pore acting, you just can’t beat the original. Everything about this movie just works, it has a campy B movie charm, the tone is great and it stands as a surprisingly potent, even sobering postwar commentary. After all, it’s based on the real horrors of the atomic age, making this an effective time capsule of a film that holds up over the years, and can arguably be regarded as a great movie in general.


 


#4 King Kong VS Godzilla (1962)

 The two most famous and iconic giant movie monsters face off in a cheesy, yet epic battle to the death. Even though it’s nothing truly spectacular, there’s a simple charm that comes from seeing these two titans clash and the result is one of the most memorable rubber suited monster battles of all time. Oh, and there's also this giant octopus thrown in the mix, that's kind of cool.  






#3 Godzilla VS Destroyah (1995)

 This is the final entry of the second series, which means that the big G finally meets his match and even dies, making this, perhaps the most tragic monster death ever. It’s cheesy like any rubber suited monster movie but it’s done with so much flair and admiration toured this iconic monster. In his final battle, Godzilla teams up with his son to battle a super monster called Destroyah, who’s undeniably the most spectacular foe to challenge Godzilla head on. It’s a campy, yet epic send off for the mighty beast and one that I highly recommend to any fans of the series.  




#2 Godzilla (2014) 

 That's right, the latest Godzilla movie is one of my personal favorites out of 30 monster movies he’s stared in. Honestly, I think this film gets everything just right, Godzilla’s battles are big spectacles, with some awesome new monsters, a refreshing tone and the movie is very smart by giving us just enough monster action, without getting to over blown. There’s also just enough human drama to help balance out the shear spectacle off of seeing monsters in action. Finally, it was a nice treat to see Godzilla be a hero again, after so many films of him being the primary threat. It’s just a fast paced thrill ride that American Godzilla fans deserve.  





#1 Godzilla Final Wars (2004)

 Without a doubt my favorite of all Godzilla's movies is this epic monster mash titled "Final Wars". To date, this is the last Godzilla movie to be released from Japan, and it’s an absolute blast. All the common things that make a good movie like plot and intriguing characters may not be present in this film, but hay, that’s not what I'd expect from a Godzilla movie anyway. Instead, we fans are treated to a non-stop, action packed thrill ride, with an invading alien army, space battles, kung fu martial art fights and just about every classic Godzilla monster featured in one film. This includes the three headed dragon called King Ghidorah, the space monster Gigan, the giant butterfly Mothera, and even the American Godzilla is present. That's just naming a hand full, it’s an all out monster brawl with lots of destruction, an awesome cast of human characters and lots of cheesy fun monster battles. It’s simply the ideal Godzilla movie that I still enjoy watching to this day.




                                                                               The End

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (First Impressions) (Movie Review)


Our favorite web swinging superhero is back in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, this time he’s battling new enemy’s, learning more about the secrets of his parents and struggling with the complications in his relationship with Gwen Stacy. I’m still collecting all my thoughts on the film, but for the most part, I liked it a lot. It’s consistently entertaining but it never comes off as rushed, it actually moves at a very nice pace. Some may think it goes on for a little too long, but I can’t think of a moment when I wanted the movie to end.

I like how this movie spends it’s time with these characters instead of just jumping from one action scene to the next. On that note, the battles are great, the special effects are awesome and it’s really cool to watch Spider-Man do his usual hero stuff. Both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are back as Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy and their the engine that pulls this train. All the performances in this movie are great but these two just hit it out of the park in their respected roles. The plot can get a little over stuffed with lots of plot threads going on at once, but I still liked these plot lines and they held my interest, honestly, this will affect people differently. The tone can also get a little disjointed, at times the film acts like a comedy, while other times it acts like a legit drama.

Jamie Foxx plays the new villain called Electro, and he’s awesome, his design is great, his electrical powers are cool and his fights with Spider-Man are awesome. I will admit that he gets beaten with no real payoff because the movie establishes him as this really conflicted character, but his story gets dropped so quickly to make way for the new Green Goblin. He’s also played very well by Dane DeHaan and his character is interesting, however some fans may be disappointed that he’s not in the movie for long, at least not as the Green Goblin. Another villain called The Rhino also makes what’s barley more than a cameo in the film, and while he could have been cut out, I did still enjoy his scenes.

Honestly the only thing that bothered me while I was watching this movie was the occasionally shaky camera, which got really annoying. Other than that, I actually had a lot of fun with this movie, the action was great, it held my interest, the villains were fun and the ending delivers one of the most powerful dramatic moments in the series. There’s also a trailer during the credits for the upcoming “X-Men Days of the Future Past” movie, which really wasn’t necessary but I still enjoyed it. Overall, I can see some people annoyed with this movie but I can imagine just as many Spider-Man fans thrilled by it, and personally, I think it’s one of the best entries in the series. I give “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, 4 stars out of 5.