The LEGO Movie is one of the best animated films in recent history, if not of all time. It is creative accomplishment. The LEGO Movie succeeds in everything the creators (Phil Lord, Christopher Miller) set out to do.
First the have imagined a bright and beautiful world that we immediately except and love. I think it helps that nostalgia kicks in and brings us to a place many of us haven’t visited since our childhood. Not only are we given a grand LEGO city of our dreams. But beyond that we are gradually introduced to more genre specific LEGO styles that continue to drive our imagination and make us yearn for a chance to jump into our childhood and start building. But the amazing thing is we can, are LEGOs only for kids? Absolutely not. This movie teaches us that our childhood is always there if we just let go of this life we call adulthood and grab onto it.
Second we are given a chance to let go of all preconceived ideas of how a comedy works, look at these toys presented to us and have a good time. And I mean a really good time. Not a minute goes by without a funny joke, pun, or comedic physical ploy. Not many movies make me guffaw, but The LEGO Movie made me release laughter like hardly any movie has done before. There is something about LEGOs making certain jokes and acting in certain way that would not have worked with a live action film. (Or even be possible?)
Third The LEGO Movie has heart. Through this story we are taught lessons about being special, and knowing that no idea is terrible. As every LEGO’s favorite song says, “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”.
The voice talent here is spot on. The comic delivery by these actors is nothing short of genius. I know a lot of this has to do with the pacing in editing as well as the staggeringly creative visuals, but every aspect of The LEGO Movies melds together together to make a bang-up product.
The LEGO Movie will remain to be one of the best movies of the year, I have little doubt that it will make my top 10 films of the year, and we are hardly into February. It is one of the best animated movie I have ever seen, and I would place it among the best of Dreamworks, Disney, Pixar, and Studio Ghibli, as it succeeds in everything it set out to accomplish. Best of hopes for 2015′s Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
I feel as though Ratatouille has been Pixar’s overlooked gem. When many bring up their favorite Pixar movies, their minds always go to the Toy Story trilogy, Up, Finding Nemo, or Monsters Inc., and rightly so. These are all number of Pixar’s crowning achievements, but if I could state one Pixar movie that has been swept under the rug, it has been Ratatouille.
My girlfriend is a huge fan of Pixar, she would watch any of their 14 films, but the thing is she has missed on on too of Pixar’s greatest, Wall-E, arguably Pixar masterpiece and Ratatouille. It astonishes me that she has never seen either, but has such a love for the animation studio. So I found it to be my duty to show her this film.
Having not seen Ratatouille for nearly two years, I was glad to revisit it. Ratatouille is near perfection. The story is tremendously creative, the story of a rat who wants to be a cook and his journey in Paris and how he unites with a lowly garbage boy. This is fascinating stuff that only an animation could bring to life.
The romanticism of Paris is evident from start to finish. The beautiful lights and music of the city join together to make this world seem true.
Food is always the main focus here, I was always hungry for just a taste of what Remy is cooking up. (I have never wanted soup so badly in all my life.)
I was drawn nearly to tears when Ego was lead around the kitchen at the end of the movie. The change of his cold heart was very evident after he eats his Ratatouille. There has been such a large buildup to this moment that his transformation of character makes for the most beautiful moment in the film.
Pixar is not only telling a story in Ratatouille, but teaching a lesson about art. Who can be an artist, what is art, and what makes it good or bad. From act one, Gusto is teaching us that “Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*.”
As a reviewer this teaches me a lesson, a lesson to not condemn those who make movies that I don’t like/or agree with but help discuss what was at fault and how it can be fixed for next time. In the end, does me opinion matter, well maybe only to me. Let’s hope we can all learn to appreciate what is before laid before us. Because much hard work was done by many.
Me- I’ll give you some descriptive terms, you guess the movie I’m watching.
Me- Beauty, revenge, portraits, abuse, violence
Sam- Oh man. Sounds Kubricky but I know it’s not. Dragon Tattoo? lol
Me- Nope, Nope, 2013
Me- *Shakes Head*
Sam- Have I seen it?
Me- Yes. You liked it enough
Sam- Only God Forgives
Me- “That’s a bingo”
Sam- So good!!!!
Me- I am pretty engrossed
Sam- Should’ve said colorporn
Me- Shoot, that was one, color, but I forgot.
Sam- Amazing that Refn is colorblind.
Me- Is he? This cop is fucked.
Sam- Oh my god yeah the cop is infuriating! But mystifying.
Me- At this point, indestructible and the ultimate power. He’s so still. Ugh this movie!
Sam- Only God Forgives, indeed
Me- Right? Ok I must watch now. Then fucking Karaoke.
Sam- I know!!! Haha I have no idea what to make of that
Me- And everyone is watching. This is nuts!
(Insert talk about Sherlock and Downton Abbey)
Me- The symbolism. That movie will be on my mind a while.
Sam- Seriously. A different type of cinema (that) I’ve never seen before.
Me- Wow, I really liked it. Glad that it was only an hour and a half, but I think I would have watched more.
Sam- Yeah, I think 90 minutes is the perfect length lately.
Oliver & Company is another one of those Disney animation titles that I haven’t seen since I was a child and frankly I had very little desire to re-watch it again. Oliver is most definitely the worst adaption Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Twist isn’t exactly a replica of the story, but rather it is used as inspiration. We have Oliver, Dodger, Fagin, and Sykes (Sikes). The story is much more heartwarming and funny than the dark story we have seen retold so many times. Overall it is rather mediocre, aside from one or two fun songs and some funny moments placed here and there.
Acting: The acting is definitely the highlight of this film. Such great and distinct voices really bring the animated dogs to life. Billy Joel is great as Dodger, even getting to sing one of the most under rated Disney song of all time, “Why Should I Worry?” Bette Midler stood out to me, voicing what is probably the funniest character in the movie.
Visuals: I love the style of raw cell animation, it really lends itself to the 1980s grudge of underground New York. It is rather pleasing to my eyes.
Story: A meh adaption of the fabulous Dickens’ novel. The songs are fun, but too few and far between. Script is rather clever at times.
Concept: Not only adapting Twist into a children’s story, but using animals as the leads. Works ok I guess.
Personal: Any longer than 74min, I would have had enough.
Re-Watchability: I have no want to buy this one.
The Christmas Candle is an uneven Christmas tale with good intentions.I found it a big surprise that a film like this would come to the big screen at all. It looks pretty, the cast is mostly good, (aside from Susan Boyle who has the acting chops of a candlestick). The themes are nice, but the way they are presented didn’t flow for me. I felt unfulfilled at the end. Aside from a one or two emotionally developed scenes, this film is rather lackluster in terms of screenplay.
But this is not why I saw it. I saw it for one thing only, and that was Samantha Barks. She doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but when she’s present she glows. I can’t wait to see where she will go.
Celebrity crush aside, The Christmas Candle is a nice family film, that will probably be taken in by local Sunday schools. It wasn’t my cup of tea, and I probably will never revisit it, but depending on your personal state of spirituality, you may find something to grasp on to. I watched this with my mom and some of the later scenes made for some water works, but I don’t think that had much to do with the movie itself.
Overall, it is probably the least satisfying movie experience I had in the theater all year. Not that the message wasn’t a good one, but because both the aesthetics and script were lacking. I can’t really recommend this The Christmas Candle. If you want to bring your family to the theaters this week see Frozen instead. If you have already seen it, see it again.
The Aristocats has always been a great memory of my childhood. Every time I re-watch it with my siblings we reminisce about our favorite scenes and moments, always bursting into laughter when these points in the film take place. There is allot to like about this film, and it is respectfully entertaining, but but lacking in greatness and originality.
I would basically call The Aristocats, One Hundred and One Dalmatians for cats. Cats are stolen, cats must journey home and defeat bad guy. Of course it takes a different, more comic and jazzy route than Dalmatians. But you still can’t scratch the feeling that you have seen this before.
Acting: I love, love, love the voices used in this film. it is probably my favorite part. Roddy Maude-Roxby voice as Edgar is timeless. His hoity-toity voice is absolutely perfect. “Hear Kitty-Kitty!” The rest of the cast is perfect. Absolutely no complaints.
Visuals: I am a pretty big fan of this raw style of cell animation, frankly I miss it. Though it isn’t quite as glamorous as some, it still holds its own. It reminds me of a coloring book.
Story: You read my complaints earlier about the story. It is still fun, but lacks in originality. The pacing of the film is great though. I am a pretty big fan of the songs, especially O’malley the alley cat and Everybody Wants to Be a Cat. Heck I even get a good laugh out of Scales and Arpeggios.
Concept: Not too original, but still fun.
Personal: I really like The Aristocats, sure it isn’t my favorite, but I own it on BluRay and will come back to it every once in a while.
12 Years a Slave is one of the toughest films I have ever seen. While being both artist and stylistic in its choices it never becoming inaccessible. The casting is nearly flawless and the actors themselves give the best ensemble performance I have seen this year.
Not until the end of the film do we ever find relief from the excruciating visuals that linger on some of the more gruesome scenes I have ever seen. But this cinematic choice works flawlessly.
I also found the journey of Solomon Northup (Portrayed stunningly by Chiwetel Ejiofor) both narratively and visually compelling. Throughout his story we are observers, just as Solomon is an observer to the actions taking place around him. We can do nothing to help, all we can do is watch. And we do watch as Solomon denies, accepts, and finally fights his enslavement. We are shown these moments during a number of shots throughout the film that linger on Northup after of number of life changing incidents.
12 Years a Slave is film that shows humanity at its weakest, and in this weakness sometimes all we have is hope and faith.