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Category Archives: Movie Review

Killing Them Softly (2012) Review

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Killing Them Softly plays out like a rough draft; watching it makes you feel like a professor grading one of his student’s submissions.  You find worth and potential along with one or two things it really wants to get across.  But too much gets in the way.  There are scenes which drag on into filler territory, parts that fail to engage the audience and, sadly, it all leaves us watching something, as opposed to experiencing it.

The mob/hitman story here is very localized, which does lend some grounded reality.  It’s actually refreshing to see mob card games being run in a sub-par household, as opposed to (just) an underground location with space to walk and stand.  A very heavy-handed theme is meant to drive home this low-life persona the film just bathes in, even when the scenes take place in a luxury car.  The problem, however, is that the message isn’t driven so much as barreled through you like the elders speeding into (and around) the houses from South Park.

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A few good stands are assumed by the talented cast who, though usually underutilized, work with what’s available.  While Brad Pitt is convincing he isn’t stealing scenes from anyone.  If anything, Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, portraying embodiments of the aforementioned low-life persona, are the real stars.  Much of this is thanks to the fact that, for the first 20-45 minutes, it feels like the movie belongs to them.  Pitt isn’t even on-screen for much of the first act and by the time he’s introduced, it’s tough to imagine him having a larger role.  He ultimately feels like a smaller piece, meant to carry something that’s just too heavy for his shoulders.

Without a sense of cohesiveness or decisive direction, Killing Them Softly winds up sifting when it should be exploring.  Sadly, the extent of its exploration is too forced for what could’ve stood so much better without any of the overdone finger-pointing.  If there’s anything the film has to say that it doesn’t repeat more times than a pop song chorus, it’s that projects don’t work without being consistently handled or truly overlooked prior before submission.

 
 

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Quote Review: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

“Royalty, nobility, the gentry, and……oh, how quaint – even the rabble.”

Far from an evenly paced or even consistently put together movie, Sleeping Beauty offers a good share of the best and worst aspects Disney are known for.  But like the tale itself, what’s good outweighs the bad (or lesser, in this case).

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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Lincoln (2012) Review

It’s tough to say what we have more of: Movies that Steven Spielberg attaches his name to, or the number of reviews for Steven Spielberg movies.  Maybe Mr. Spielberg should take his name and endorse my reviews so views and comments will finally pop up.

The hype surrounding Daniel Day-Lewis as President Lincoln has swelled so much that it seems to have left Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in the dust.  Does anyone else find it creepy how close Anthony Hopkins name is to Anthony Perkins from Psycho?

But enough digressing, we’re here to talk about a movie guaranteed to sweep up Oscars simply for being the cinematic equivalent of a typecast.  And if you think Oscar bait can only work so many times, need we remember the eye-rolling predictability of The King’s Speech winning Best Picture two years ago?  The very premise of Lincoln is a catalyst for what the senile blokes at the Academy are suckers for: Lincoln’s strives to pass the thirteenth Amendment.  Some have even taken the film’s plot as reason to stake claims that it really isn’t about Lincoln, that the film deserves–get this–a different title.

This type of claim only then begs the argument: Just where does the focus lie?  Is it really on Lincoln or the days leading up (and in) to the abolishment of slavery?  Or is it really about the role Lincoln played in the closing days of the Civil War, leading to one of history’s greatest landmarks?  It’s ultimately one of those cases where what you bring and expect from the film is going to directly impact how you react.  What must be made clear is that this is far from a character study, since the naysayers do have a point in that Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t have much to work with.  In fact, I can’t even point to an arc in the Lincoln we’re given on-screen.  What’s at his disposal is less a character and more a role, a piece of history.  The man is literally a walking speech, a story waiting to happen (which the film pokes fun at).  We get so much of this that I actually wanted less talking and more silent emoting or brief responses between characters.  Our first scene with Lincoln actually accomplishes this in a proper way, making the President seem more human and less like a piece of theater.  It’s just a shame this doesn’t define his other key moments and might leave you constantly disillusioned.

If Lewis isn’t convincing us with his make-up and testing us with his speeches, then it’s Tommy Lee Jones who sweeps up our attention and laughing strings.  As Thaddeus Stevens, Jones is the political embodiment of a riot–and then some.  The man practically steals what short scene him and Lewis share as he proves to be that scumbag character you’d disparage in real life but want to elect as a character.

Even for a slow, two and a half hour movie, there are still points of Lincoln that feel tragically abandoned.  One key area is with Joseph Gordon Levitt as Lincoln’s son, who’s only given so much time and doesn’t leave much of an impression, save one bitter scene.  The film seems to subtly hint at the development of a relationship or dynamic between the two, yet this is never truly realized.  Granted, this asks another whole plotline, and all the while the focus is stuck on the 13th Amendment.  Still, we definitely could have had a few minutes more with Lincoln Jr. so as to get a plate without room for sides.  Most of the interactions take place between our political characters and, if not them, then Lincoln and Sally Field as his wife.  The two have a rough passion in both their roles and between each other, which makes the realization they’re married simultaneously convincing and shocking.

Clearly, Lincoln seems to be filmed and released for the sake of being a showcase for its talented cast.  This is all some of us really need in order to become immersed and, if your theater is anything like mine (people three to four times my age) then an applause is only inevitable.  But something tells me the reasons for such a reaction will vary from person to person.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Blog, Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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Quote Review: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

“I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad.”

If Scott Pilgrim and Toy Story (somehow) had a child, Wreck-It Ralph would be its not-too-distant cousin.  Even those who’ve been completely sheltered from videogames will have a tough time resisting this plethora of puns and play-on-words.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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Skyfall (2012) Review

Mr. Bond certainly isn’t the individual who needs someone to handle introductions for him, much less by an English major working in retail.  Perhaps we can take it a step further with my admittance that Bond has had a…less than involved history with me.  Goldeneye, Die Another Day, Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace.  Not exactly a full blown history lesson, per se; but Bond can always be argued as a character of impressions, which his latest outing, Skyfall, charismatically delivers.

For the third time, Daniel Craig assumes the role of James Bond, and while his first time was certainly charming, that doesn’t mean the third is automatically exempt.  Thanks in large part to a sure-handed cast and crew, Skyfall repays us for the sins committed by the 2008 outing.  The film is less obnoxious and over-the-top, but still finds enough room to let these seep in a few times for the sake of fun.  Just don’t take that to mean Bond is all laughs (which are great here, mind you), because Skyfall leaves a path that is, as M and Mallory would put it, shadowy.

Being grounded in reality isn’t the first thing to come to mind with a Bond film, but Skyfall comes about as close as we’ll ever get to that.  Sure, the opening sequence just screams (impressive) stunt work, but again, for a Bond film this is some fairly down-to-earth stuff.  It’s an edge that is bound to put the cheesy Bond purists off, but even the less dedicated film viewer can appreciate the changes made.  To that degree there’s not as much to let Skyfall stand out from the crowd other than the franchise’s namesake.  Fortunately, director Sam Mendes and director of photography Roger Deakins have provided us an immaculately shot and detailed film.  I’m not one to tell you to spend extra money when it’s not necessary, but this is definitely a film to catch in IMAX if you get the chance.  If Deakins doesn’t get some Best Cinematography awards, I’m afraid I’ll lose all hope in “professional” film appreciation.

Bond has returned with a film that does well with the characters thanks to its liberties and (remaining) loyalties.  We’re left with a film that gives us a cloudy but assured look ahead for its successors, but whatever follows will have some big shoes to fill.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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Argo (2012) Review

The common verdict seems to be that Ben Affleck is now three-for-three with his directorial efforts.  Though I can’t speak for Gone Baby Gone, The Town is definitely one of my top picks from 2010 and a personal favorite.  Now imagine my excitement when Blu-ray.com, a website every bit as informative as they are off in their verdicts of new releases, gave the film a perfect 10.  Between that and some equally impressed reviews from other everyday reviewers I (don’t) know and trust and we have an excited little boy biking to his local theater.

Argo sets the stage with a brief but encompassing introduction so you’re not totally lost when going in.  I say this because, like so many other Oscar-hyped films, I was probably the only person in my theater under 60 years of age.  You have any idea how awkward and alienating it is to be the 22 year-old in that situation?  It’s weird as hell.

After our informal introduction things kick into gear with protesting in the streets which essentially leads to six people hiding in Iran with a Canadian.  And South Park would have you believe Canada have done nothing important; Matt and Trey might need a new history book for an upcoming apology episode.  Cut to America and we have Ben Affleck playing Tony Mendez, who gets the brilliant bad idea to make a fake movie so the six escapees can, well, escape.  Again.

This is a movie that almost comes off like you need to pay more attention to it than is necessary.  The film is fundamentally a suspense thriller with the occasional political and social commentary.  But if that’s not your thing PLEASE don’t be turned off, because these are more supplementary to the plot at-hand.  To that degree this is a very solid film, one that knows when to step outside of the story and when to return.  Tension rides high, much like The Town, and the climax definitely keeps you on-edge.  Characters are also detailed to just the right degree which, given the two-hour runtime, is saying quite a lot when you have almost a dozen people to follow.  The real standouts, however, are Ben Affleck and the irresistibly entertaining Alan Arkin, who almost feels like stark contrasts of each other.

Now there has been A LOT of Oscar hype behind this movie with critical acclaim to boot.  As you can tell, I’m definitely in the fan crowd for this movie.  But as far as being the best movie of the year I have to raise up my hands and say “whoa, let’s back up for a moment.”  Argo is definitely another strong offering for 2012 and proof that this has been a fantastic year for film, but I wouldn’t say it’s contending for my Top Film spot of 2012.  Heck, I wouldn’t even place it on-par with The Town.  Like I said, this is solid, satisfying entertainment in the way a more or less gritty suspense film should be.  Definitely well made and a Best Director nomination should at least be a guarantee here.  Just don’t expect this to crack my Top 5 of the year if the movies I still haven’t seen are as good as I expect.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Blog, Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) Review

Nostalgia’s a real tough bitch to calm.  No matter how deep down in the landfills the past gets, we seem preset to look back on it as a beautiful night of snowfall.  The only problem is that that those snowflakes bring frigid air and terrible living conditions with them.  Hardly a reconcilable trade-off.

But like an ever-traditional opening to a pathetically sarcastic-yet-serious article, my point is that some of us wish the past could be relived.  This exact feeling is what drove home the Chbosky novel-turned-film The Perks of Being a Wallflower for me.  A tale of a high school freshman meets high school seniors (we all know how probable that is), the film wastes literally no time assuring us this isn’t another shallow attempt at coming of age.  Rather, with a proper use of narration to show and tell us what’s going on–as well as what formerly happened, we’re taken on a gradual journey that refuses to let go.

It might seem a crazy comparison, but I’d group The Perks of Being a Wallflower with films like Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy in that there comes a point you just don’t want it to end.  Instead of making your viewing a visit, you want it to be a permanent stay.  Exactly like those twisted lies that are your memories.  Speaking of which, without specifically giving anything away, this becomes a bit of a recurring theme, though not initially in the way the film lets on.

The characters here are about as authentic as they can get, nailing all sorts of personality types and (not so) general cutouts.  Looking back, it’s a movie I’m not quite sure which character I liked the most.  I mean yeah, I know which two I identify with the most, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best characters, per se.  And this is just part of what makes the film so strong, resonate and memorable.  That is, there’s always someone to root for and think about from more than just an observational standpoint.  It’s also proof that not all young people are thin-layered embodiments of stereotypes; most people aren’t.  This film, much like a (good) John Hughes picture, does justice to the conflicts of the more inexperienced but equally human individuals.

 
 

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Finding Nemo 3D

I always encounter a bit of a problem when movies are re-released these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for an older film coming back to theaters so that it can be experienced to its highest degree.  But the fact is we’re still in the middle of the 3D cash-grab phase that’s seldom utilized well.  Case in point was the re-release of Beauty and the Beast last year.  It’s a fantastic movie and looks absolutely great, but even the dancing sequence hardly justified a 3D-fication.

Then we have Finding Nemo, which has received the re-release treatment despite being less than a decade old.  And we all know Disney love to jump at the opportunity to tease us with a Blu-ray release a couple months down the line.  It borders on sadistic tendencies.

But being a sucker for certain movies, my friends and I succumbed to shelling out $14 a piece for this re-release.  Finding Nemo isn’t a movie that necessarily benefits from big screen viewing, but the potential for 3D was definitely present.  It’s a very colorful and detailed movie, but one less grand in scope.  To that degree the 3D isn’t too bad.  Like most 3D post-conversions, this one doesn’t really pop off the screen, but that’s not such a bad thing.  That is, until you realize you paid enough to see two movies just for some subtle detail.  For the few 3D nuts out there, I’d put Finding Nemo’s 3D re-release somewhere between Titanic and Toy Story for how good it was.  The Toy Story double-featured 3D re-release (there’s a mouthful for ya) was fairly negligible while Titanic had probably the best post-conversion to 3D I’ve seen thus far.

Really the best, most positive-thinking way to go about viewing this re-release is as something for parents to show their kids if they haven’t seen Finding Nemo already.  A theatrical viewing is far from necessary but I guess it’s nice to have a movie you know for a fact will be good.  And let’s be honest, anyone reading this probably doesn’t need to know whether or not Finding Nemo is a good movie, because it is.  It’s one of Pixar’s best, it tugs the heart and laughter strings perfectly and, just like a proper Disney release, offers some great references which adults will enjoy and pick up on.  The movie has the look and heart of a child with the details and understandings of an adult, which makes it the perfect family film.

 
 

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Looper Review

If you’re looking for convention and routine, Looper isn’t going to be your most fulfilling catch.  Here we have a film that incorporates time travel but doesn’t go balls out with showing off technology or advances.  Normally the two go hand-in-hand, but we’re shown stuff that’s as subtle as it is familiar, aesthetically.  The focus instead rests on the story and characters, one of which is normally compromised for the other in other sci-fi films.  But since we have less blunt distractions in our way, the focus remains where many will argue it should be.

Speaking of the story, quite a bit goes on here and, without spoiling anything, let’s just say that ties and lines are twisted and strained.  We’re given a modest future, to say the least, where people from even later on are sent back to be killed and literally eliminated–no traces or fingerprints to find.  It’s a premise that will either fascinate or frustrate you (or both) the more you dig into it, which you can argue as being part of the fun here.

Actually, that might be the only fun you’ll get, as the film doesn’t tread lightly.  Save two or three chuckles, you’re really left with a serious face during the film’s runtime.  Thankfully, this is an engaging watch with hardly a slow or dragging moment.  That said, there were points I was saying to myself “man, I wish this movie was a lot longer so we could get and see more.”  On one hand it’s great that I’m being sucked in, but on the other I feel like since more sci-fi films stretch well past the 2 hour mark, why not Looper?

This is also to say that you shouldn’t expect a building climax that builds to epic proportions.  Looper is, at its core, a fairly personal story that brings several characters into play, but doesn’t show or build things to a grand, awe-inspiring scale.  Think of it like The Terminator with less indication of the war in the future.

Shape and spectacle are not what you should look for in Looper; but instead thought and personal investment.  The idea and premise is less original and more innovative, but it’s nice to get a little something different.  And with a year already full of solid films, it should have no problem fitting comfortably on most viewer’s top releases of the year.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Blog, Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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Double Feature: Fantasia & Fantasia 2000

Anyone who’s followed Doug Walker knows his favorite Disney animated film is the original Fantasia.  He’s touched on this at least two times between his Top 20 favorite films and last year’s Disneycember.  As a kid, Fantasia was almost this silent horse figure to me.  I’d watch it repeatedly–much like the original Star Wars films, but it never really crept up in discussion with others.  But hey, not all dark secrets need to remain locked away, just like my virginity.  Disney have protected me well.

One of the few Disney films I haven’t seen (or hadn’t, as of this post) is Fantasia 2000, which came out around that sour transitioning period from elementary to middle school for me.  Since then my interest in the movie catapulted, especially when I saw bits and pieces of the grander parts.  And since I was in the middle of a walk to my nearby BlockBuster (yes, we still have one here) I decided to treat myself to a double feature of both Fantasia films.

Heading in, I feel like the proper way to tackle these films is to talk about each segment individually since that’s essentially what these films are.  Admittedly they’re both achieving similar results by attempting to create an experience of sound and visual, but when you look back on these movies, you think of them in bits and chunks.  I’ll simply have to make them slightly more interesting than your generic track-by-track review off of Amazon.

So first up we have the original Fantasia which, believe it or not, is over 70 years old now.  And the film still looks great to this day, outdoing several contemporary releases from more than just artistic and visual standpoints.  It was supposed to mark a new direction for Disney, but fell short of being a monumental enough hit; kind of the same way The Dark Knight Rises’ box office isn’t big enough since it was outdone by The Avengers.  Because as we all know, the inferior crap earns the most money.  But I digress.

Fantasia opens with the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, gradually transitioning from the choir to colors, shapes, patterns and the like meant to compliment the music.  This is just a wonderful and vibrant combination of sound and visual with the music being passionately represented by what are often abstractions.  It’s a piece that sticks with you well after even one viewing.  I’d also say it’s one of the film’s most memorable selections, simply because it embodies what I think the film is really about: Music and visuals expressing and complimenting each other.

The opening of the Nutcracker Suite has become synonymous with Christmas, so it’s only fitting that the collection of pieces included depict the changing seasons.  This is where hints of a story come into play, but it’s less about a story and more this barely cohesive guideline.  It works for telling something but never gets in the way of the overall experience.  Like the weather and seasons, you’re picked up and swept away as the music sways through the peaceful and upbeat sections.  Besides, how can your attention not be caught after seeing mushrooms and flowers moving around just a notch shy of salsa dancing?

By now The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has become THE piece most would synonymize (yes, I made that up) with Fantasia.  I mean, you’ve got the titular character of said piece on the cover of the film’s box art, what else is there to say?  This is also where the film finally tells a definite story, one that, upon recent viewing, I’ve elected to refer to as “Moses after officially taking up sorcery.”  Maybe Mickey was somehow born from Moses, maybe he was just adopted.  Either way, this remains an enjoyable, charismatic scene that, like the previous two segments, sticks with you.  Whether that’s because it’s most frequently used when referencing the film or the fact it’s a good piece I leave for you to decide.

The longest individual segment from the film, Rite of Spring, has always stood out to me.  A key part of it was definitely the dinosaurs, something I was obsessed with as a kid.  Seeing it now I have to say the music used is quite dark, which the visuals have a tendency to compliment, especially during the opening half with smoke coming up to indicate lapses in time.  There are other parts like the T-Rex, the drought, volcanoes erupting and terrain shifting which build to make an enthralling 15 minutes.  In some ways I’d argue this as my favorite part from the film because it’s always the one that draws me in the most.  And go figure with the dark engagement, since it’s followed up by…

The intermission, also where we “meet the soundtrack,” which provides a brief demonstration of a few instruments in a bit of a visualizer style.  It’s entertaining and gives us a nice idea of what some of the individual selections of instruments are like, but is strictly what it’s labeled as: an intermission.

Afterwards we move to a far more colorful and upbeat piece with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, something I’d prefer to call “a more fulfilling film than Hercules could ever muster to.”  Much of what we get here can be disputed as silly and certainly romantic, but my guess is that’s in keeping with Greek tales (please don’t hurt me, hardcore scholars).  I think it’s a good piece overall, especially with the centaurs and cupids, but I’d be lying if I said it was very engaging.

Then we get Dance of the Hours, which is supposed to provide stretches that apparently represent the times of the day, but I probably wouldn’t draw that reference were it not pointed out.  Of all the pieces between both Fantasia movies, this one is probably my least favorite, since hippos and elephants dancing is less fascinating and more…odd.  I’m all for ballet style too, it’s a key reason Black Swan worked–not as good as it should’ve, but that’s another debate–it’s just this isn’t a piece to really grab you and, even with a reasonable runtime, it simply drags.

Thankfully, the film’s closing is far more rewarding with a return to the darker and more engrossing Night on Bald Mountain, followed by the wonderfully calming Ave Maria.  Apparently the two were picked because they’re so different from one another, but I always found the transition from one to the other to be very seamless.  Rampaging and viscous darkness succeeded by an almost brooding calm that builds to something faintly triumphant is such a wonderful combination which only does one thing for the entire film: Complete it.

This brings us to Fantasia 2000, a surprisingly shorter but expectedly interesting sequel that, in most respects, lives up to the standards set by its predecessor.  One area I’ll admit that the film loses points is with the cameos from celebrities, which make my attempts at wit and satire look about as successful as a George Carlin stand-up performance.  Set that aside and we have a real treat of a film that consistently delivers what it should, especially given the fact it’s a more modern film.

So what better way to kick things off than with Beethoven’s renowned Symphony No. 5, which does a fantastic job assuring us the visuals will be terrific and do well to accompany the music.  There are points here and in the other pieces that don’t seem to take advantage of a few sways in the music, but they’re minor distractions at worst.  Admittedly, however, the intent for this opening to simply depict abstractions is quickly disproved since we’re given some sort of a narrative, even thematically.  But this remains a solid opening and serves to foreshadow the inevitability that I’d never reach anything remotely close to this film’s artistic prowess.

Pines of Rome has become a favorite for many people, which is very easy to see and understand.  I’ll admit the eyes on the whales are a bit distracting, but otherwise it’s a great segment which builds to one fantastic climax sure to get your jaw stuck on the floor.  This is definitely a segment to watch and feast on Blu-ray.

Rhapsody in Blue is in the running for my favorite piece from the film since it rings with today’s troubled times while paying homage to the 30’s and 40’s.  The art style here is phenomenal and a rare treat when most animation nowadays is either the standard 2D style that Disney became synonymous with or the highly detailed 3D courtesy of Pixar.  It’s a bit on the long side, but the connections made between characters pulls you and grips you surprisingly well, especially for an almost comedic piece.  From the get go with the outline of the buildings I knew this was going to be a great segment and it did not disappoint in the least bit.

As is Disney tradition, their adaptation of The Steadfast Tin Soldier alters things in a way that gives audiences young and old the most accurate depiction: That all obstacles have a totally happy ending.  Like the Pines of Rome, there’s a 3D-esque look to this piece that almost makes it seem transcendental for Disney, especially for the time.  The plotline is a bit out of touch, but the core story is easy to get behind.  As a bit of a side note, since I only just saw the film recently, this piece immediately reminded me of Hugo with Sacha Baron Cohen’s character.  Thankfully, that was one of my favorite parts of that film, so it helped to strike a chord with me.  Definitely not the strongest part of the movie or the most memorable, but it’s not totally forgettable, unlike Dance of Hours (fortunately).

Easily the most infamous musical part of Fantasia 2000 is The Carnival of the Animals, sparked by the question “what would happen if you gave a yo-yo to a flock of flamingoes?”  I think the real question to ask was given courtesy of James Earl Jones (“who wrote this?”).  Despite its reputation, I don’t mind the piece at all.  In fact, I rather enjoy it since A, it’s fun and upbeat and 2, it’s short and harmless.  Is it the worst piece of the entire film (outside of the cameos)?  Probably, but that’s like saying Peanut Butter M&M’s aren’t as good as Reese Pieces.

Cue a retread of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and we move on to Pomp and Circumstance, which might as well be called “Noah’s Graduation Ceremony.”  A tired joke perhaps, but it is easy to think about some sort of graduation when the animals board the ark.  Given that our key player here is Donald Duck, you can tell it’s going to be a less serious film.  Also, did anyone else see the piece as a big throwback to An American Tail with Donald narrowly missing his love over and over?  If there’s any piece that I’d argue the animation as being less than impressive, I’d probably point to this one.  That said, there’s some fun slapstick humor to be had and it did get a few decent laughs out of me, which is something we can all use more of.

And we wrap things up with the Firebird Suite, which I hotly anticipated (pun not intend) after each piece ended.  As viewers of the film know, this is some of Disney’s best animation, easily holding up over a decade later.  The story and use of color here is top notch, surpassed only in scope by Pines of Rome and rivaled in emotion only by Rhapsody in Blue.  I actually took a Nature Writing course (no, I’m not a hippie) in college and one article I read was that controlled forest fires are actually necessary and beneficial for tree and plant life since it essentially rejuvenates them in the long run.  This might not necessarily be the message of the piece, but it’s some good food for thought; especially so when you take the message of becoming bigger, better and stronger after things have hit their worst.  It’s a terrific tale of recovery and a definite contender for the Top 5 pieces between both Fantasia films.  And most importantly, we get another solid conclusion to a very worthwhile release.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Blog, Film, Film Review, Movie Review, Movies, Review

 

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