What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

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What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

What We Do in the Shadows is a 2014 New Zealand mockumentary horror comedy film directed by Taika Waititi. It is an original, but admittedly not great film.

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He was an 18th century dandy, so he can be very fussy

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What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

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This film is a very interesting mix of genres. It is above all a vampire comedy, but with some horror elements and filmed in a mockumentary style. The mockumentary worked to its full advantage as it added a modern, fun touch to it and I really enjoyed it. The horror elements are rare, but solid and as for comedy, the movie can be really funny at times, but not often enough.

The plot with these three centuries old vampires sharing a flat together in today’s world is comedy gold in itself and such an original, creative premise with a particularly authentic approach. But the execution is not as great owing to its uneven quality.

The film takes its time to get there as the first act is not as engaging and it take time to adapt to its offbeat weirdness, at least that was the case with me. The second act is then phenomenal and so energetic, fun and frequently hilarious. That’s certainly the highlight of the film. But then the third act is definitely not as fun and the movie loses its steam there.

What We Do in the Shadows is weirdly paced and for such a short runtime, the filmmakers still did not know how to fulfill that time and thus I agree with some that this was an ingenious idea for a short film and never a feature.

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What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review

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Taika Waititi is excellent here, not so much in the acting role (and no actor is really particularly great here), but as a director, he shines here as this is his vision and his direction and style are phenomenal. The score is actually very good and effective in creating its vampire atmosphere. The same can be said for special effects and sets, both excellent for such a small budget. The film is technically pretty terrific.

What We Do in the Shadows is a highly original, but uneven experiment. Its mix of genres and approaches is very intriguing as it is a mockumentary vampire horror comedy with a pretty good premise. Taika Waititi’s direction and style are great. But only the second act is very strong and quite funny as it takes time to get used to its weirdness in the first act and the film loses its steam in the third act. It would have been much more effective as a short than it is as a feature film.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Chain Gang (1930)

The Chain Gang ReviewThe Chain Gang Review

The Chain Gang is a 1930 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is an okay entry.

The chain gangs were popular during the early thirties and of course this series was going to utilize on them, but with decidedly mixed results. I liked the animation quite a bit, especially of the dogs and the backgrounds. The ending and beginning are memorable and the middle section much less so.

The film has its moments and Mickey is good here, but it is overlong, not as engaging as it should have been and not particularly well scored. Pete is great as is Mickey and I loved the setting and the situation, but it never escalated into something bigger as both the gags and the energy are very much lacking here leading to a solid, but not great 1930 Mickey Mouse entry.

The Chain Gang definitely is well animated and with an interesting plot, but a weaker execution with not enough energy and certainly not enough laughs.

My Rating – 3.4

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The Jetsons Season 3 (1987)

The Jetsons Season 3 Review

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The Jetsons Season 3 Review

The third season of The Jetsons is a solid conclusion to such a charming Hanna Barbera show.

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You hear that music, Mr. Spacely?

That’s my cue to dance with my daughter!

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The Jetsons Season 3 Review

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Because the third season consists of only ten episodes, this review is thus going to be much shorter in length than the previous two. Comparing it with the other two, it is of course still infinitely inferior to the first classic season but it is somewhat better than the previous weaker season. I give the two a similar rating, but this is a better, shorter and more concise season.

Crime Games is such a mediocre opening of the season with a tired, uninspired gangster storyline. I dislike the gangster genre and I did not care for this one either. And Elroy having some sort of wild adventure is overly familiar by now.

ASTROnomical I.Q. finds Astro becoming a genius and attending a trivia show. In my opinion, this is a pretty solid episode with some wonderful moments, but having in mind that Astro is so great, the episode is never as great or as fun as he is.

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The Jetsons Season 3 Review

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9 to 5 to 9 finds Judy taking the responsibility and starting to work in order to earn money for a new car. As Judy-centric episodes go, this is a rather solid one with a good work ethic message. Invisibly Yours, George, on the other hand, finds George becoming invisible to a typically cliched, cartoon outcome.

Father/Daugher Dance is certainly one of the better Jetsons episodes and one of the most wonderful. It emphasizes the relationship between these two to great heights and the ending is truly heartwarming. Clean as a Hound’s Teeth is ridiculous in its premise where George gets dog’s teeth. This is something that never would happen in a much more plausible, classic first season.

Wedding Bells for Rosey is pretty much as Spacely put it – a robot soap opera. And that is of course done for better and for worse, but Rosie is reliably great. The Odd Pod finds the family getting their home wrecked by an exotic plant to decidedly mixed results.

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The Jetsons Season 3 Review

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Two Many Georges is about George getting himself cloned and still finding out that his family prefers his real self. It is not a great episode as it is familiar, but still sweet. Spacely for a Day is one of the better episodes of this season as it is nice seeing Spacely start to appreciate George for once. It is a satisfying finale to the season and the entire series.

Overall, I liked this season more than the previous one. It has its weaker, but also very good, competent episodes. Although I only loved the first season, I am still going to miss hanging out with The Jetsons who are such a fun, loving family.

Worst Episodes: Crime Games and Clean as a Hound’s Tooth.

Best Episodes: Father/Daughter Dance and Spacely for a Day.

My Rating – 3.6

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Frozen (2013)

Frozen Movie Review

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Frozen Movie Review

Frozen is a 2013 animated musical film which is Disney’s 53rd animated feature. It is a pretty good, competent, but still very flawed and ultimately somewhat overrated movie.

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He’s crazy.

I’ll distract them while you run

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Frozen Movie Review

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The story follow the fairy tale The Snow Queen but just barely and is basically so different from it that it might be considered to be an original film. I liked the story though it definitely felt rushed and undercooked in some places. It is adventurous, heartwarming and magical just like most real Disney classics are, but it is just never as great as it could have been.

The beginning is overly drawn out but definitely very intriguing and seeing the two girls separated was heartbreaking. I loved the magical elements and the first act is long, but sets up the rest of the movie pretty well. The coronation day was great, Elsa and Anna’s argument is memorable and Hans being portrayed as so good and innocent at first is a big plus.

I will later talk about the ice palace creation sequence when I talk about the song itself and in detail. As for the first scenes with Kristoff, they are all very charming and some of the best here. I loved the scene at the Wandering Oaken’s shop and the scene with the wolves. This is the most adventurous part of the film and it should have lasted longer.

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Frozen Movie Review

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The scene with the two sisters arguing is the second best of the film and actually pretty amazing in its own right. I loved that it involved singing for storytelling and dialogue and the intense build up to the eventual tragedy is superbly done. Marshmallow got a pretty fun scene, but the troll sequence is somewhat of a detour. The capturing of Elsa is excellent and the film needed more action and more usage of her powers such as in that scene.

Hans revealing his villainous side was done wonderfully and the entire third act is pretty good and exciting. The twist with the true love being that of two sisters instead of between a man and a woman is interesting and ultimately quite memorable and groundbreaking in a way. The ending with the ice skating was sweet.

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Frozen Movie Review

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Frozen has many plot holes unfortunately. It is a good, wonderful story, but so undercooked and you can see that it was reworked extensively for many years up to its release. How Elsa got her powers and why only she has them is never answered. And do not get me started on the parents. They were horrible to their children by separating them and I guess that in that day and age, they might be much worse in real life but the film tried to make them sympathetic and it failed and thus their death was not all that felt and of course as obvious and as expected as any Disney parent death. And what Elsa ate in that ice palace and how she intended to survive there remains a mystery to me. And who ruled the kingdom when they were little and parentless. And why doesn’t Kristoff recognize Anna as an adult? The film is sloppy in terms of storytelling.

The characterization is very good on the other hand. Elsa is underdeveloped when compared to Anna, but it works in the context of the story that she is somewhat of a mystery and I liked that Anna is basically a protagonist here. Elsa is mysterious, elegant, powerful and I loved her ice powers and it was convenient and quite ingenious how her problems can relate to basically any minorities/special needs persons.

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Frozen Movie Review

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But Anna is actually the better character. I love Anna honestly. She is your wonderful Disney Princess but different than most as she had to learn what true love is and how you cannot fall in love in the first day of meeting the prince. The deconstruction of Disney’s true love concept is modern and although too on-the-nose, it still worked and was clever. The film is sometimes overly feminist in an aggressive way, but it is still very nice that we got a Disney movie that centers on sisterhood.

Anna’s spunky behavior is great and she has some wonderful, funny lines in the film. Her journey and character progression is excellent and her interactions with everybody, especially Elsa and Kristoff are superb. The relationship between the two sisters is problematic yet very sweet just like in real life which is why it resonated with so many women out there.

Kristoff is very likable and it was interesting that talking to animals was portrayed as somewhat crazy here. Honestly, the movie felt so anti-Disney at times for better and for worse. But Sven is endearing and Kristoff is a great Disney love interest and he and Anna share a fantastic relationship.

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Frozen Movie Review

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Olaf is honestly pretty annoying at times, but also quite funny in a couple of scene with some hilarious lines. He is your typical overly modern and aggressively funny Disney sidekick, but I didn’t hate him surprisingly enough and I ended up mostly liking him. Duke of Weselton is annoying and basically just a decoy so we wouldn’t suspect Hans who is honestly very good as a villain. I really enjoyed the villain twist here. It was overdone in the next movies such as ‘Big Hero 6’ and ‘Zootopia’, but here it fully worked and I loved it. But I still think that men in this film are either villainous or crazy which remains a problem.

Frozen has very good, though not amazing animation. Some of the backgrounds and interiors were not as detailed as you would expect from Disney and the character design is mostly typical. But the CGI is excellent and the ice palace creation is the biggest feat of animation wizardry accomplished here. The ice looks amazing and the film was one of a few animated films that was ripe for computer animation as the ice needs the CGI and every icy scene was beautiful here.

Frozen is a musical and a very problematic one. Basically the structure of the film is all wrong. It makes the fatal mistake of putting most of the songs in the first act and the rest of the film is mostly devoid of songs. That made it seem very uneven. And I still do think that only one song here is great.

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Frozen Movie Review

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Frozen Heart is your typical opening work/local people Disney number that serves its purpose, but is forgettable. Do You Want to Build a Snowman? is actually quite sweet and the most childlike song here. It is a great plot point, but overly short.

Love Is an Open Door is so mediocre. I do not like it at all and it has a pretty weak, annoying chorus and it sounds way too modern. Definitely it serves its purpose in terms of storytelling, but as the actual piece of music it is rather weak.

Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People is extremely short and unnecessary. Fixer Upper is so annoying and possibly the worst scene in the film. The song itself is quite weak and uninspired. The same can be said for In Summer which is basically a detour as we already know that Olaf wants warm hugs and yearns for summer and we did not need a whole number for it, especially such a weak one.

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Frozen Movie Review

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For the First Time in Forever is the second best song in the film and I really like it. It isn’t the catchiest song, but it does accompany a great early scene, it has very good and at times even funny lyrics and a pretty fine chorus. I loved the grand ending to it. Also, the reprise is beautiful and, as I said before, it is the second greatest scene in the film.

And of course Let It Go is the greatest song in the entire film and one of the best Disney songs of all time. Words cannot describe how great this number is, but let me try. First off, the lyrics are absolutely amazing and it is probably the deepest Disney song ever, the one with which everyone can relate to. The singing by Idina Menzel is amazing and it is the kind of grand Broadway number that was mostly absent from Disney in recent decades.

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Frozen Movie Review

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The chorus is amazing and the finale is absolutely spectacular! It serves as a powerful vehicle for Elsa; it is the moment where the film just stops and your breath is simply taken as the overall sequence is spectacular in terms of characterization, music and storytelling. That beautiful gown was created here, the classic song was created here and one of the best Disney scenes too. History was certainly made here.

Frozen features excellent voice acting. Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff are very good, but Idina Menzel and especially Kristen Bell shine here. The film is well directed, but weakly paced. The dialogue is solid, but overly modern at times with too much new jargon in it. The film doesn’t pay much attention to its time period as it does to its setting. Overall, the film remains a phenomenon, but a highly flawed one. A wonderful experience, but when you look at it through the critic’s lens, you can see its many flaws easily. It surely is one of the worst Disney revival entries as it cannot compare at all with ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ and ‘Tangled’.

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Frozen Movie Review

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Frozen is a good, but highly problematic movie. The animation is not as detailed, but it is frequently gorgeous. The story is very intriguing and memorable, but full of obvious plot holes. The dialogue is overly modern and, although refreshing, sometimes the film was aggressively feminist (all men in the movie are either crazy or villainous) and deconstructive. The characterization is admittedly excellent with Hans being a very good villain (the twist was great), Kristoff is very likable and of course Anna and Elsa are wonderful characters and their sisterhood is beautiful to witness which is the reason why the film touched so many people. The songs are actually rather weak as only For the First Time in Forever is quite good and of course Let It Go is an amazing, simply fantastic song accompanied by a spectacular, iconic sequence. The film is frequently very adventurous, charming or even funny, but mostly rushed in pacing and problematic in structure owing to it having been extensively reworked on for many years. In the end, Frozen reaches greatness in a couple of truly special scenes, but for the most part it is a very uneven, troublesome film which ranks among the weakest Disney Revival films.

My Rating – 4

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Porky’s Poppa (1938)

Porky's Poppa ReviewPorky’s Poppa Review

Porky’s Poppa is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid entry.

I liked this entry despite it not being nowhere near as funny as it should have been given the fun premise with the cow producing milk and various dairy product. I really enjoyed Porky’s amused behavior here and he sounds and looks great here as I dig his look and of course Mel Blanc does a great job in the role.

Porky’s Poppa is so well animated with good character design and great looking products. The score is forgettable, but the pacing is solid. The highlight is the chocolate milk mix-up and the various cheeses that came out. The film is definitely amusing and fun, but should have been much better in the end than being just solid.

Porky’s Poppa is a solid Looney Tunes entry with excellent animation and premise, but not the funniest or most energetic execution.

My Rating – 3.7

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Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away Movie Review

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Spirited Away Movie Review

Spirited Away is a 2001 anime fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is the best Studio Ghibli film and one of the best films ever made.

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Once you do something, you never forget.

Even if you can’t remember

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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I have seen Spirited Away at least three times by now and upon this fourth viewing I again confirmed its greatness. Rare are films that get better and better upon each subsequent viewing and this is one of those films. It has an amazing replay factor. I have always watched it in a dubbed version as that is how I first saw it so I cannot comment upon the Japanese sub acting, but the dub is actually one of the better anime dubs.

Let’s first talk about the story and the highlight scenes. This film is obviously influenced by ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and it is a much darker, much better crafted version of it. It managed to eclipse that story due to a sheer epicness of it. It feature an amazing use of Japanese mythology and spirits and every creature here looks great and is highly memorable.

The beginning is excellent and very eerie in its atmosphere. Highly mysterious and otherworldly. All of Chihiro’s first sequences in this world are great and a wonderful build-up for the rest of the story. As for the stink spirit scenes, they are slightly extended, but still very memorable and the character is fascinating. So the film sometimes feels like a series of vignettes, but those vignettes are all fascinating and the editing is great so it still ended up being tight and well structured.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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Then the story gets much more intriguing with the introduction of Yubaba’s sister. The second act and mostly the latter half of it features a terrific use of build-up to the action and it rises the tension and stakes superbly.

Of course my favorite act is the third one as it is the culmination of everything we had learned previously about this world. That train is just breathtaking, those travelling scenes are transcendent in quality and the imagery is unforgettable.

Then we have the greatest scene from this film which is of course the goodbye scene between Zeniba and Chihiro and then the marvelous dragon flight which includes a great realization and an excellent, fascinating answer to the mystery of how she and Haku met. The final test was great and of course everything about that ending rings awesome. Beautifully filmed and immensely resonant in terms of emotion. The film reward you for taking this long trip with such a moving, deep final scene.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the film’s characters. Chihiro is a one of a kind protagonist and quite possibly the studio’s best creation. She is spoiled, clumsy and childish at first, but upon taking this amazing, fantastical journey, she becomes much more independent, stronger and more responsible and brave. It is an archetypal hero’s journey, but the one done infinitely better than most as it takes its necessary time to develop and thus feels all the more special.

Haku is also excellent despite appearing in not so many scenes. His mystery backstory is intriguing and very well resolved and his dragon form is striking and his job is very well utilized. The relationship between him and Chihiro is never overly emotional and just right.

Yubaba is such a hilarious character. At first menacing and all-powerful, but later deconstructed to a mean old lady. I loved her interactions with each of the characters. Her giant baby is so funny and her story with Zeniba is realistic and a lot of fun. Her sister is the polar opposite of her and a good witch. Loved her and her heartwarming relationship with Chihiro.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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No-Face is fascinating. He is a famous Japanese spirit, but he can be interpreted as being the metaphor for loneliness which many of us deal with and people are struggling much more these days and thus he is very relatable and endearing. I loved his many forms and how his backstory remained a mystery. I also loved that he stayed with Zeniba in the end as both need some company. Certainly the film resolved each of the characters’ stories successfully.

Boiler Man is very sweet and caring and I just loved everything about his working steampunk environment and those employees of his are so incredibly cute and feisty. Chihiro’s parents serve their purpose and to me Lin is wonderful as this on surface calculated, yet ultimately very caring and good friend to Chihiro. Every character here is great and every spirit and creature is memorable even if they are not too present.

Spirited Away features absolutely breathtaking animation. What is there yet to say that hasn’t already been said? This film utilizes on the power and pure imagination and art of hand-drawn animation superbly and rare are animated films with better animation than this one. Only Walt Disney’s earliest films can compare honestly.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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The film is colorful in just the right amount, it is both dark and light in equal amount both in terms of animation and atmosphere and it has absolutely terrific character designs with each spirit being fascinating, different and unique. The humans also look great. The various sets are amazing, each one of its locations is beautifully explored and mesmerizing and the action is so well executed.

It has some of the best world building that I have ever witnessed. I felt as if I really went into this spirit world and I felt as if I also learned something and became more adult just like Chihiro. The movie gives the child in all of us the opportunity to dream again and because it is so dark and serious at times while being funny and lightweight at other times, it manages to be perfect for both children and adults. A perfect mix of everything that the best of animation can offer.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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In terms of the humor, it succeeds. It is rarely used, but quite enjoyable and endearing when it happens. I loved the cutesy factor here, but I also admired the inherent darkness of this world as well as it reach themes which span from growing up to greed (best exhibited in those bathhouses) to environmentalism (refreshingly subdued here for Ghibli) to Japanese folklore. The film truly is very smart and consistently deep and transcendent.

The action is never overwhelming and is excellent and sparingly used. The runtime of two hours is perfect for this film and it never feels long despite for animation long runtime. That is because this world and this story are so rich that they needed more time. And the pacing is excellent.

The tone is diverse and the score is phenomenal! I loved this score and in my opinion the dragon flight scene is the best scene in the movie not in small amount thank to that gorgeous, moving and highly transcendent score which is honestly magical in its quality.

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Spirited Away Movie Review

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The attention to detail is magnificent, the dialogue is terrific and the film is unforgettable in its every aspect. Hayao Miyazaki directed Spirited Away marvelously and it clearly is a work of art and magnum opus from this famous director who was clearly making a masterpiece here. It thankfully got its Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and it is critically acclaimed for all the obvious reasons I stated above. It is the best that both Studio Ghibli and anime have to offer and one of the best overall film of all time.

With breathtaking, absolutely wondrous animation, stellar direction, meticulous world-building with an overwhelming attention to detail, terrific character development and extremely powerful score which is honestly one of the best in film history, Spirited Away is an undisputed masterpiece and one of the rare films that can easily be called art. The story is well crafted with great influences, a diverse tone which ranges from cute and endearing to dark and atmospheric, high emotional resonance and a great character journey for the protagonist. The film manages to be magical, sometimes serious, at times funny, but always engaging and simply fascinating. The entire, wonderful new world is created here with an impeccable attention to detail which is a reason why it has such a lasting appeal and endless replay factor. Consequently, it is a pure masterpiece and undoubtedly one of the best film ever produced.

My Rating – 5

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Daffy Duck & Egghead (1938)

Daffy Duck & Egghead ReviewDaffy Duck & Egghead Review

Daffy Duck & Egghead is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a funny cartoon.

This is the second Daffy Duck outing after ‘Porky’s Duck Hunt’ and it is the first Warner Bros. short in 1938 as it opened on the first of January. I really enjoyed it. Egghead is probably the best he’s ever been in here and of course Daffy Duck is hilarious in his loony, crazy behavior. The film is very well animated with a gorgeous color background and a great looking swamp.

It is very scattershot in its humor as the film is very much a series of vignettes and it isn’t well edited at all. One of the highlights is the sequence in which Daffy sings The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down. This is the first time that the series used this song with lyrics and it was unforgettable. Of the gags, Daffy proclaiming Egghead to be blind after missing to shoot an apple multiple times was very funny. And the ending is excellent.

Daffy Duck & Egghead is such pleasant, pure Daffy Duck lunatic craziness with a couple of memorable gags and great character moments.

My Rating – 4.2

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Beatriz at Dinner (2017)

Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

Beatriz at Dinner is a 2017 indie drama film directed by Miguel Arteta and starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow. It is one of the best indies of the year.

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All tears flow from the same source

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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I love movies that are self-contained in time and place and that are simplistic, but deep in themes. Beatriz at Dinner is that movie. We follow a Mexican woman who winds up at a dinner organized by her boss. There she gets into an argument with a cold businessman and is just so different from each person there.

I thoroughly empathized with her and she is such a relatable person to me and a wonderful soul. Certainly I am not as great of a person a she is, but I also have trouble accepting the death of animals which most do easily. I am also a highly emotional person and I do think that most people in this world are cold, selfish and just bad human beings and thus her troubles felt all the more real for me.

The movie showcases brutally how a great, emotional person cannot really live in this world and cannot cope with so much pain and sadness surrounding them. And in that manner it is one of the most brutally dark and unfortunately realistic films that I have ever seen. For some it may be too pessimistic, especially that dark ending, but to me this is real as I feel like her too and the ending was deep to me and very satisfactory.

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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The only problem Beatriz at Dinner has is that it is just way too heavy-handed at times and overly simplistic and black-and-white in the portrayal of Beatriz and especially Doug. Beatriz at least has her dark urge near the end, but Doug is overly villainous which was a problem.

But I still really liked these characters. I liked all of the others as they had minor roles, but they did make an impact and were all very realistic. Its cringe comedy elements fully worked and the awkward dinner felt painful but necessary to sit through. This is how people talk and especially rich people. I found the movie’s willingness to attack businessmen, small talk and Americans highly refreshing. Loved it.

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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The actors and actresses all did a great job, but of course the highlights are John Lithgow and Salma Hayek. He proved how great of an actor he is and how brutally underrated too. He is an indie darling and here he portrayed one of his darkest characters. His subtle facial expressions, especially of smugness and disbelief, were amazingly grounded in reality and just phenomenal.

But Salma Hayek is even better. Here she gave one of the year’s very best female performances in such an amazing, career defining role. Her facial expressions also drive her performance as anger, shyness and especially pain are very much felt in her every scene. Amazing work that should be honored.

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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Beatriz at Dinner is the definition of a phenomenal indie drama. The themes are rich, the film is deep how smart and especially emotional it is. Sometimes the pain is overwhelming and the ending is definitely heartfelt. The dialogue is mostly fantastic and only the film’s sometimes bombastic instead of subtle approach felt subpar. And of course I loved the score and especially editing as the film is deftly, brilliantly edited and structured into a coherent, tight whole. It is a seventy minute long movie and it did not need any more minutes. It is perfect this way and it is a shame that most filmmakers do not realize this.

Beatriz at Dinner is an amazing indie drama. Sometimes the themes are heavy-handed, but for the most part the dialogue is clever, the film is deep in themes and especially in emotion as it is heartfelt and overwhelming to witness. John Lithgow is absolutely phenomenal as he always is and Salma Hayek gave one of the year’s finest performances in a tour de force performance. This movie is tightly edited, darkly humorous, brutally realistic and very relatable to me personally leading to one of the best films of 2017.

My Rating – 4.5

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Charade (1984)

Charade ReviewCharade Review

Charade is a 1984 Oscar winning animated short film that is very weak.

This is one of those films that are overly simplistic and I’ve seen similar concepts many times before. Here we follow people who play the game of charade. I guess some lines are funny, but not nearly enough. The film play like a straight, typical charade game and there is nothing interesting or new in it.

The animation is admittedly pretty solid with a good use of color and solid character design. But the film is a total bore to sit through even at its short runtime and it is way too short, clocking in at just five minutes. I didn’t care for it too much and it is one of the weaker Oscar winners.

Charade is an undeserved Oscar winner with an overly simplistic premise and not that great execution.

My Rating – 3

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a 2011 fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Rob Marshall and starring Johnny Depp. It is a pretty disappointing entry.

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You know the feeling you get when standing in a high place,

the sudden urge to jump…

I Don’t have it

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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This is by far the weakest entry in the series so far. It is much weaker than the original trilogy as it has many unfortunate choices in the production and story. Now I liked that it was shorter in its runtime and thus much better paced than the previous films, but the story is weaker this time around and not particularly exciting.

I liked that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are disposed of here as they have always been dull to me, but I have to say that Penelope Cruz is a very poor substitute. She has never been a great actress and especially in American films such as this one she is quite weak. Her performance is mediocre and the character herself is not as well defined and is quite annoying.

Captain Barbossa is also pretty repetitive here and not as great as in previous entries. As for Blackbeard, Ian McShane did a good job in a fun role, but the character was underutilized. Gibbs is great and I loved that beginning as the court scene was hilarious and seeing the fun, strong friendship between Jack and Gibbs is awesome. Jack saves the film as he is still entertaining and memorable in the role. Also, that mermaid and her boyfriend are so boring and both should have been cut off from this film.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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So On Stranger Tides has a solid ending, a great beginning and some action scenes are particularly entertaining and well executed, although again overwhelmingly present. The story is okay, but nothing remarkable and the humor and characterization should have been stronger.

I also found the film surprisingly lacking in terms of fantasy elements which was odd and it made the movie less exciting. I loved the various locations used here, all gorgeous to look at. The film sounds and looks great, but I wouldn’t say that the enormous budget of over 300 million was needed here. That is insane. So in the end, the film is infinitely inferior to the first and second one and even the third messy movie is much more interesting than this entry.

On Stranger Tides is such a disappointing entry in the series and so much weaker than the original trilogy. I loved its locations, score and some scenes were quite fun. Jack is also reliably good and memorable. But unfortunately the other characters are boring and the addition of Penelope Cruz hurt the film tremendously. She was never a great actress and here she gave a mediocre performance in a very annoying role. It is a shorter film, but owing to its odd lack of fantasy elements, it is mostly not as exciting as the previous entries.

My Rating – 3

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