Snoopy, Come Home (1972)

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review

Snoopy, Come Home is a 1972 animated family comedy film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the second full-length Peanuts film and it is such a sweet, very enjoyable flick.

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What an independent dog.

He comes and goes as he pleases,

but I have to stay home and fix his supper

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Here Snoopy goes to see the girl who was his previous owner and is now sick in hospital. Charlie Brown gets sad because of his absence. This is definitely one of the most emotional Peanuts stories as the film is so depressing and very serious. It deals with its subject matter in an admirably realistic tone which I loved. Especially its second half and of course the ending were so moving and this is one of the best Snoopy stories for sure.

Yes, he is awesome here. Although not as funny as he should have been, I still liked that he was serious and so dramatically and emotionally utilized for once. He is the most mature and most loving here and his cries at his farewell party were just so heartwarming. Charlie Brown is also great and I just loved the emphasis on their loving relationship. I would go so far to say that this just might be their best outing yet.

But the problem with this movie is that it is overly serious. Yes, I loved that, but it still needed humor in it and unfortunately it only has a couple of somewhat funny moments, but certainly not enough. That was very troublesome to me as I’ve come to expect great humor from the Peanuts gang.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

And because it focuses so strongly on Snoopy and Chuck, we unfortunately do not get to see the others from the gang particularly often. Yes, they are there, but they just serve to support Charlie Brown and nothing else. It was interesting seeing Lucy be good and caring to him, but that was still unbelievable and unrealistic having in mind how awful she usually is. Woodstock has his moments of course, but Peppermint Patty and Sally are seriously underutilized with only Linus being good and reliable as Charlie Brown’s friend. As for Snoopy’s girl owner, she is sweet, but just a plot device nonetheless.

Snoopy, Come Home isn’t a musical, but it has a couple of songs in it which was problematic as almost all of them were dull and uninspired. The Sherman Brothers wrote the songs and that was unbelievable to me as most of them are so underwhelming and I wonder why they didn’t do a better job having in mind how they killed it in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’.

All of them are forgettable and even No Dogs Allowed! is forgettable and underutilized with only its accompanied humor being good. But the titular song Snoopy, Come Home is phenomenal. It is the only great song here, so catchy, so beautifully sung and so melancholic that it works wonders for both the plot and their relationship.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The film is solidly animated, albeit it is nothing great except for a couple of really interesting scenery in some sequences. Even though the first act has some overly prolonged Snoopy scenes, the film is mostly well paced and quite involving to watch. I liked the dialogue and I found the script to be surprisingly thoughtful and mature. And of course the flick is very emotional which was great. In the end, it is most certainly not up to par with ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’, but as a second film, it is still surprisingly respectable and mostly satisfactory.

Snoopy, Come Home is overly serious with not enough humor and it needed to focus more on the rest of the Peanuts gang, but the focus on Snoopy and Charlie Brown brought a lot of very emotional scenes and it is probably their best story yet. The songs are subpar with the exception of its titular song which is great, the film is surprisingly mature and thoughtful and it features many heartwarming scenes leading to a mostly satisfactory second Peanuts film.

My Rating – 4

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Sing (2016)

Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Sing Movie Review

Sing is a 2016 animated musical film from Illumination Entertainment. It features the voices of Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon among others and it is such a good movie.

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When you’ve reached rock bottom,

there’s only one way to go, and that’s up!

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

It is about a group of animals who enter a singing competition which is hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater. I really liked this story. Yes, we’ve seen this stuff before and certainly the film is both clichéd and predictable, but because the characters are so good and because it is so well made as a whole, I still ended up loving it a lot.

Let’s talk about those characters first. The character development in this movie is actually quote stupendous. It has such a high number of characters in it and yet it manages to pull each of them off and all are well developed and interesting. Buster Moon is excellent. I loved his character and I really liked the interaction between him and his group, so heartwarming.

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Mike is a problematic character. He is basically a villain, a sort of a villain, and the movie tries to portray him as one of the guys and it just never worked. I do not understand what they were trying to do with him, but I just never saw him as one of the good guys and that was troublesome. Rosita as a pig with 25 piglets is awesome. She is such a relatable character to all of the mothers out there and I loved how the husband finally came to appreciate her in the end.

Ash is quite typical, yet really well done. That is this movie in a nutshell – all of its characters are either familiar or full stereotypes, yet they are portrayed so well that you end up loving them anyway. Ash as a porcupine who suffers from a bad breakup was annoying at times, but I really liked her toughness and how she, along with everyone else, killed it with her song in the end.

To me Johnny and Meena are the most relatable characters whom I just adored. Johnny is a teenage gorilla who just doesn’t want to be in his father’s gang and I loved how the film lovely portrayed the troublesome relationships between fathers and sons and how they sometimes expect different things from their sons and do not accept their differences. So moving. Meena was even more relatable to me as I was also shy like her and watching her trying and eventually managing to overcome her shyness was so emotionally rewarding.

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Gunter is annoying, Eddie is fine, Ms. Crawly is charming and Nana Noodleman is a typical, yet expected plot device. The acting is great here as everyone did such a good job and I never guessed who they were which was awesome. Matthew McConaughey is so good and emotional in his role, Reese Witherspoon is great too and Scarlet Johansson is surprisingly good and she should appear more in animation as she surely delivered in the role of Ash. Seth MacFarlane is typical Seth and all of the others are forgettable with the exception of Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly who are quite good in their great roles.

Sing is so well animated. The animation is polished, beautiful and well detailed. They brought the theater to life wonderfully and I loved its overall design. As for the animal designs, they aren’t the most original, but are quite memorable and I liked how all of them looked and acted. The diverse number of species here is also pleasant.

Sing features a great score. Yes, almost all of these songs are not original, but here it worked in the context of the movie. I disliked some choices here, but most of the songs were great and they fitted really well within the story and for characters themselves. The film is also very well directed by Garth Jennings and featuring some pretty good dialogue.

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Sing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

It definitely is an overly familiar movie that leads to a pretty typical ending, but that ending was still a bombastic blast to watch and emotionally rewarding. The film is a bit too frenetic, but I still admired how they managed to put in so many subplots and character development into such a short running time. The backstories for the characters were particularly well utilized. Overall, I loved this Illumination Entertaiment movie which is miles above ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ from the same year and I wish they continue with these original stories in the future.

Although definitely overly clichéd and predictable in its plot and quite fast paced, Sing is still such a good movie with a plethora of familiar, yet memorable and so well developed characters with Meena and Johnny being particularly relatable to me personally. The film is also a musical blast to watch, so entertaining and so emotionally rewarding and it deals with a couple of really relevant themes with such great backstories for most of its characters. Illumination Entertainment surprised me with this one and it definitely is one of the year’s best animated films.

My Rating – 4

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The Man Called Flintstone (1966)

The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review

The Man Called Flintstone is a 1966 animated spy comedy directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera. It is a spin-off of the show and it is mostly really good.

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Well, that’s what always happens to guys who want to take over the world.

Yeah, they end up out of it.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

Here Fred must become a spy as a spy that looks entirely like him is wounded so he along with Wilma and the Rubbles goes to Paris and Rome to stop the master criminal. This is a spy comedy and a musical. I will later talk about the songs themselves, but let’s talk about the actual story. I thought it was very good. Of course when you adapt a sitcom to a film, you can’t really retain that sitcom feel in feature length, but some scenes did manage to do that regardless.

It is one of those typical gangster plots from the original series, but this time around it is actually better than most as it focuses on spy activities which is much more interesting. It serves as such a wonderful and fun spoof of the contemporary James Bond films and it does manage to bring that 60s Bond feel to it really well.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

As for the characters, I found them really well utilized. I wanted more from Wilma and Betty, but they were still solid and even the kids themselves were more likable than usual. I also adored Dino in the beginning, his one and only scene is so amusing. Of course Fred is awesome and I just loved that he was a hero here, really likable as always. Barney is also terrific and the duo managed to get some excellent action scenes near the end. Ali and Bobo are funny as these silly, incompetent henchmen, Tanya is memorable if typical, Rock Slag is really well used in the story and Green Goose is a memorable goofy villain. I loved that the voice acting employed the same actors from the series and Mel Blanc and of course Alan Reed were as stellar as expected.

The Man Called Flintstone is beautifully animated. I just loved its animation. As it usually happens with TV-to-film adaptations, the quality of the craft is increased for the big screen which is evident from its first moments. That entire opening sequence is so good and it instantly hooks you in the story while showcasing its visual splendor. The attention to detail is even greater than in the show at times with such a great use of animal mechanics and prehistoric machinery. Very inventive and fun to watch. But some of the imagery, especially of the two cities, is so charming and beautiful and I liked the color palette a lot.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

Now I mentioned that it is a musical and there lies its only big problem. I just wish that it stayed just a spy comedy as they had enough material for a feature movie, but somehow they wanted to duplicate Disney’s formula and thus put a number of songs in it. Some are fine, but more often than not, they were distracting and did not help progress the storyline but rather significantly slow it down and they almost serve as a detour.

The titular opening number is a blast! It is the only great song in this weak soundtrack as they perfectly created a Bond type song both in imagery and in lyrics and style. Spy Type Guy is okay, but nothing special. Team Mates is such a filler that was there for no special reason at all. Pensate Amore has good imagery, but is otherwise forgettable. The Happy Sounds of Paree is catchy, but also not memorable. As for (Someday) When I Am Grown Up, it felt too childish as the kids sing it and totally out of place. The songs here are too psychedelic and of its time in a movie that is otherwise a pleasant sixties adventure.

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The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review………………………………………………..

The movie is very good regardless of its songs and a lack of stronger humor as the screenplay is stupendous actually – clever and interesting. The characters are also well utilized, it is solidly paced and very well directed. The highlights to me were the opening scene, the entire action sequence near the end and of course those scenes in the two cities and the restaurant were quite charming. It is a flawed, yet mostly satisfying Flintstones experience that was such a fittingly endearing swan song for the show.

The Man Called Flintstone is rarely on the same level of quality of the show as the humor isn’t that strong and the soundtrack is quite weak as the songs serve as a detour/filler instead of progressing the plot, but the film is otherwise very satisfying with an improved, beautiful animation with a great attention to detail, it is sometimes very inventive, the characters are well utilized and the plot is a pleasant spoof of Bond movies leading to a fittingly endearing swan song for the series.

My Rating – 4

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The Painting (2011)

The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting Movie Review

The Painting is a 2011 French animated fantasy drama film directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie. It is a solid and respectable, but flawed movie.

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A simple drawing can be more elaborate than an elaborate painting.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

A painter has left a work incomplete and that causes a conflict between the three groups – ones who are entirely painted, ones who lack some colors and those that are only sketches and looked down upon. Three friends, one from each of three classes, go on a quest to find the painter so he can finish the painting and bring peace.

That is the plot here and of course you’ve got some ‘Toy Story‘ in it, but to me it still felt authentic as it dealt with paintings and the painted characters and that was interesting and somewhat original. I liked its adventurous spirit and the film is engaging to watch. But the message of the film and the entire political conflict here is fairly predictable and familiar.

The characters are very problematic. Some are more memorable than the others, but most are very weakly realized and frankly not at all interesting. That was one of the biggest problems of this movie. But the voice acting is quite the opposite as it is actually very good and professionally done.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting is one of those French animated films that are very artistic both in their approach and execution. I am of course talking about the animation. It is so artistic in style. Now this is a two-edged sword and let me explain. The scenery is gorgeous and some of it is undoubtedly breathtaking. There are a couple of sequences here that are just beautiful to witness. I loved that the movie that featured paintings also felt like a painting in and of itself with an animation done in watercolor and it fits into the overall storyline so well.

It is a very colorful and wonderful movie. However, the character design is to me very troublesome. I just disliked it as it felt odd and very unappealing in its rough style. Of course, some characters had to look like that owing to the story, but it still could have been done better and more appealing. It is a movie that looks great as a whole, but the characters in it look rather odd.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting has its great moments such as that ending which is somewhat expected, yet very well done and animated. I really liked some scenes here, but it still disappointed me as it wasn’t as entertaining or as exciting as it needed to be. It is very well directed, but not that well paced and overall it should have been more complex in terms of characterization and storytelling. In the end, I did like it, but it is a lost potential as it could have been immensely better.

I really liked the animation in The Painting which is so fittingly artistic and sometimes quite beautiful to witness, but I disliked the character design which felt rough and odd to me. The story is solid, but too simplistic, the characters are entirely forgettable and although the film is very well made and sometimes inspired, it could have been much better anyway.

My Rating – 3.5

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Mulan (1998)

Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Mulan Movie Review

Mulan is a 1998 animated musical historical comedy film that is the 36th Disney animated feature film. It is a very strong, sometimes admirable Disney effort.

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The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.

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Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

This is a historical film in the rein of ‘Pocahontas’ where she may or may not have lived and the film took liberties adapting this story which is a famous Chinese story. And I loved the change in setting. This is basically a Chinese Disney film where all of the characters are from that country and some of the animation as well as the actors are also Chinese and I just loved that authenticity about it.

The plot itself is very good. The conflict is great and I found the film to be a solid historical as well as war picture, but mostly excelling in the drama and sometimes comedy department. It is a pleasant mix of genres in a typical Disney fashion and it succeeds in most of its areas. The highlights were of course the musical numbers, the sequence where Mulan cuts her hair is just so inspired, some of the action sequences are excellent, especially that with the avalanche, and of course the entire third act is beautiful and such an emotionally satisfying conclusion.

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Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Fa Mulan is such a strong female main character and is actually one of the most, if not the most, feminist Disney princesses. She is brave and a great person who brought change, but unlike Pocahontas, she is actually very well developed as a character and is both likable and sometimes genuinely charming. Captain Li Shang is also very good and I liked him and the relationship between the two. I know that it maybe would have been better had they stayed just friends, but even though it was a bit rushed, the seeds were still solidly planted for their future romantic relationship.

Now Mushu is your typical Eddie Murphy animated character that came even before his Donkey persona in ‘Shrek’. Although a typical goofy sidekick, I mostly really liked him as he was quite funny at times with a larger than life personality and a good heart. Grandmother Fa is actually funnier than Mushu as she is one of the most underrated Disney supporting characters. She isn’t present a lot in this movie, but whenever she was on screen, she killed it with hilarious lines.

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Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

I liked the Emperor of China in the third act and the villain Shan Yu, although disappointing in the ending, was a solid presence overall with a great menacing look and voice to him. And his animal henchman in the form of a falcon is very cool. But even though all of these characters are quite good, the problem with Mulan is that all of the other male characters as their fellow recruits were quite forgettable and not one of them stood out. That was unfortunate.

The animation in Mulan is quite good with a couple of reservations. The overall visuals are stellar and the film looks like a Disney film, but with strong Asian influences spread throughout too. I loved some of the interiors as well as the imagery, very striking. I also liked the costumes and the movements were well choreographed and the flick is well filmed. My one issue with it is the character design. Some characters such as Mulan and Mushu look really good, but others such as all of those recruits did not look that great. I don’t know why, but some of the character designs here did not personally appeal to me. And I found the fact that most of those men were either skinny or fat or entirely incompetent to be very unrealistic and frankly stupid given the historical period in question.

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Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Now let’s talk about the soundtrack. It is another good Disney Renaissance soundtrack with a couple of absolutely terrific songs in it, but more importantly a fantastic score. Yes, the score is absolutely phenomenal and most of the scenes were fittingly dramatic in their score or fittingly Asian as well. But Mulan’s Decision stands out as one of the finest compositions that Disney has ever put out as it is just such an iconic, powerful and instantly recognizable theme perfectly incorporated into its scene and story.

There are only five songs here and to me only two stood out as True to Your Heart is catchy, but a typical end-credits song that is forgettable and doesn’t have a context to it, Honor to Us All is a solid movie opener but is overall bland and not memorable and A Girl Worth Fighting For is actually quite catchy and fun, but overall not great.

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Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

But of course Reflection and I’ll Make a Man Out of You are just superb across the board. The former is such a beautiful song accompanied with a great scene, imagery and character drama and it is a perfect vehicle for Mulan to help us connect with her emotionally. It has great lyrics, excellent singing and is catchy, but powerful and moving as well. But the latter is the standout musical number which is unlike any other Disney song and that works in its favor. It is overall such a great and important scene that is one of the best montages that I have ever seen, but the lyrics are excellent and the song even manages to incorporate otherwise boring recruits in it solidly. It is such an entertaining song that is just infectiously catchy to sing along and very original and exciting.

Mulan features some really good voice acting in it and everyone did a good job. And of course the singing is great. But it is also very solidly paced and always entertaining to watch and dramatic. It features a great message and is one of the most feminist Disney movies out there, but is done right instead of preachy. Mulan truly is a great role model for girls. The dialogue is also really strong and some of the lines here are actually quite inspired. And the film was emotionally rewarding, especially in its ending.

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Mulan Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

But there is one problem here that prevents it from being a classic and that is why it is inferior to most of the other Renaissance films and is only better than ‘Hercules’ and ‘Pocahontas’. I am of course talking about the humor. Now the humor is okay and sometimes even quite good, don’t get me wrong. But I just did not find it necessary for this particular film at all. This is the type of film that should have been very serious and somehow Disney put a lot of the humor in it and that signature touch of theirs did not connect in this instance as good as it mostly connects. Some of the characters are too goofy and only Mushu and Grandmother Fa have their comedic moments whereas others are forgettable and some scenes were too lighthearted. But all in all, the film is mostly satisfying and was a wonderful experience.

Mulan is too comedic and goofy at times and some characters are forgettable, but Mulan herself is such a strong female role model, the animation is quite good, the score is excellent, the message is strong and the action is solid. It features a good story, a great Chinese setting and feel to it and two fantastic songs in Reflection and I’ll Make a Man Out of You.

My Rating – 4

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Your Name (2016)

Your name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Your Name Movie Review

Your Name is a 2016 romantic fantasy anime film directed by Makoto Shinkai. It is his weakest film so far without any doubt.

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Your name is…

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Your Name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It tells the story of a young man living in Tokyo and a young woman living in the countryside who suddenly start switching bodies on a regular basis. The premise itself was awfully weird. Odd actually as it isn’t particularly appealing. It led to a lot of overly sexual and typical teenage humor which I did not appreciate at all.

But the major problem here is most certainly the romance. We’ve seen this type of romance countless times before as Makoto Shinkai is basically repeating himself here. We’ve seen the theme of star-crossed lovers and beautiful, distant romance before and done much better, especially in his ‘5 Centimeters Per Second’. This is basically a rehashed idea with only the switching of the bodies part being new. But because I found that aspect to be too odd, I ended up not really liking the overall story.

But there are some exceptions to that. Certainly some scenes were way too good that even a non-fan like me has to admit their greatness. Some of the dreams were quite moody and intriguing and the last sequence in particular is very charming and a sweet and romantic way to end the movie.

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Your Name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The characters are solid, but not as great as the script demanded them to have been. The supporting characters are all forgettable, but the central duo is likable and their romance is sweet and emotional, albeit not nearly as well developed as I would liked to have seen.

The animation in Your Name is definitely its strongest aspect. The overall animation is so polished and professional, but the scenery is the highlight. Some of the imagery at display here was just gorgeous to behold and I loved the use of both country and city in its settings. That was important for the story and really well utilized visually too. I especially liked its pleasing color palette and a couple of sequences were even jaw-dropping in their beauty.

The soundtrack is pretty solid. The songs aren’t well incorporated whatsoever into the story, but they are catchy and memorable. But they added to this movie feeling like a TV show instead of a film and that feeling I just could never shake and it really bothered me.

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Your Name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The voice acting is good and the directing from Makoto Shinkai is pretty good as usual. He does repeat himself here, but at least the film flows well and is well directed as a whole. I found the film’s structure to be naturally important for the film itself, but it was still awfully annoying at times as I strongly dislike the dream structure as a whole. That is why I just could never connect and get into this movie and even some scenes felt boring to me. I definitely can see the appeal here as some scenes are very strong, the romance is pretty memorable and it can be quite sentimental and epic at times, but neither of those aspects were particularly well developed to me personally which is why I found the movie to be just solid and nothing more than that. It is certainly his weakest film so far.

Your Name is by far the weakest film from Makoto Shinkai so far. Yes, the animation is beautiful, its romance is memorable and a couple of sequences are certainly charming and moving, but even though I can definitely see its appeal, I could never get into it personally. The film is way too derivative of his previous works, the dream structure is annoying, the plot as a whole is pretty uninspired and it never felt like a movie to me, but rather like a rushed anime TV show. In the end, it is one seriously overrated anime film that hugely disappointed me.

My Rating – 3.5

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My Life as a Zucchini (2016)

My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review

My Life as a Zucchini is a 2016 Swiss animated film directed by Claude Barras. It is such a pleasant, yet dark film that is one of the best animated films from this year.

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No one wants to adopt kids as old as we are

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

It follows a boy who accidentally kills his mother and is sent to orphanage where he is bullied at first, but eventually forms friendships and falls in love with a newly arrived girl. Now this is a very interesting film, I have to say that it surprised me with its content. It is basically a film that is not for children aged nine or less as it might be too dark for them, but it is still light enough that older children may enjoy it.

I liked that duality present here. The film deals with a lot of important and tragic issues as each and every one of these orphan kids either lost their parents or were neglected and abused. I surely did not expect to see such frankness and raw emotion when dealing with this difficult subject matter and was thus pleasantly surprised by it.

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

It also has some quite mature sexual conversations between the kids. To me they were overwhelming and somewhat out of place here, but they still felt realistic as this is how kids talk in real life. But the inclusion of such suggestive dialogue in a supposedly children’s cartoon was quite unexpected.

But on the other hand, My Life as a Zucchini also manages to find light in the vast areas of darkness and that I not only respected, but I found it to be a perfect approach for this kind of film. It is both light and dark with an ending that is so sweet and triumphant that it never felt cheap, but rather earned as the emotion and characterization were more than competent for such an ending to work. It surely is an immensely enjoyable and charming film that is awfully dark and mature in some areas and that juxtaposition was quite innovative in my opinion and mostly handled in a very smooth manner.

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The characters are superb, all of them really well developed and they all left an impression on me, each and every one of them and that was tremendously commendable. Camille is quite likable and a very strong female character. Courgette is overly typical, yet well realized. Raymond the policeman is such a sympathetic, wonderful man and I was so happy that he chose to be the guardian to those two.

I liked that all of the kids had their quirks and especially their problems, that was realistic and also quite tragic to witness. Simon is such a familiar, yet so well utilized bully character and I liked his arc quite a bit. But Camille’s aunt was just way too over-the-top and villainy in my opinion.

The animation in My Life as a Courgette is splendid. It is the kind of stop-motion that doesn’t rely particularly on detail, but it is so well designed in its characters and so polished as a whole that it was beautiful to watch. I found some of the imagery here to be quite memorable and even delightful. The colors are also very well incorporated with some excellent choices. And I admired how they managed to tell this story with minimal dialogue and sometimes being told by visuals alone. That is what film and especially animation is supposed to do which is why this film succeeds entirely on both storytelling and technical grounds.

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

My Life as a Zucchini does have sometimes too on-the-nose dialogue and those sex conversations weren’t my cup of tea, but most of the dialogue was surprisingly sophisticated and it felt real to me. The script is great, the direction is very strong and the editing is particularly effective. The film is so well edited and paced that it was never rushed despite its very short running time. But this run time was just enough and fitting for this material and the film succeeds because it never prolongs its scenes. It also features one of the best adapted screenplays of the entire year. In the end, I found this flick not only to be one of the year’s best animated movies, but also one of the best foreign films of 2016 as well. It is that good and a perfect example of a seemingly simplistic film that is actually very complex, emotional and even deep.

My Life as a Zucchini is one of the year’s finest animated as well as foreign films. The script is very strong, the editing is superb, the dialogue is mostly realistic, the characters are so well developed and its animation is charming and wonderful. It is a film that is both light and dark, funny and emotional, childlike but also adult and that juxtaposition of humor and joy with tragic faiths and deep moments led to such an interesting, quite unique and rich film.

My Rating – 4.5

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Moana (2016)

Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

Moana Movie Review

Moana is a 2016 animated musical fantasy adventure film that is the 56th Disney animated feature. It is such a wonderful, old-fashioned Disney film which I liked a lot.

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If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

I found the plot to be very good, if some plot points felt obvious. To me, the film succeeds the most as an adventure owing to its pure, unabashed sense of fun and discovery. I loved that about it as nowadays we rarely see these kinds of films and here we’ve got a grand sea adventure for the ages.

Of course the Polynesian setting is beautiful and highly authentic and intriguing. I loved that we got to meet this culture and their traditions, it definitely felt original and refreshing in that aspect. Another strong thing about it is its lack of villains. Moana has no villains whatsoever in it and that was great and realistic. The villain is the nature and its forces which was great to witness and so refreshing. I loved that the film focused more on the relationship between its two characters than on action. But the action is great too and actually the entire last battle and especially the final appearance of the goddess was just beautiful to behold and it was the best and most epic scene in the entire film.

Let’s talk about the characters. Moana is pretty good as the newest Disney princess. Yes, sometimes she felt too arrogant and annoying to me in a typical feminist fashion. But she was mostly likable and I liked that the movie was about her for the most part and her journey is so well established and her ups and downs are dramatic and emotional.

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

As for Maui, I don’t know about this one. Mainly because I dislike Dwayne Johnson and his voice so much, I did not care about this character much. Auli’i Cravalho did a much better and more natural job in her voice performance. But even though the two are great together and their tumultuous friendship feels like one of those classic Disney friendships from yesteryear, I still did not like him individually. He had some great moments, but was overall too unwilling to help her at first, too selfish and his humor felt forced to me. Really not a fan.

I liked the fact that the movie chose to focus mostly on these two as that led to a better developed relationship between these two, but it still has a couple of memorable supporting characters in it. To me Moana’s parents and especially her father was a walking cliché, but the grandmother was such a kind and wonderful person and their relationship was so sweet. Her death scene was really impactful and tragic. Tamatoa as this gold-obsessed coconut crab was the closest that this movie came to having a villain and I really liked him. He was a memorable and sometimes even funny character and he served his purpose and made an impact for a short screen time he received. I would have really liked for them to have focused on Pua instead of Heihei and that was unfortunate as Pua is such an adorable, lovable pig whom I liked a lot. But Heihei is also pretty good as this incredibly stupid rooster and some of his gags were quite funny. He truly is the dumbest Disney characters of all time.

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

Moana is a musical and to me it succeeds as such much more so than ‘Frozen’ did because it has more than one really good song. The overall score was really good too. Tulou Tagaloa is a short, if good opening for the movie, but I loved its Polynesian sound and language. That is the major strength of this movie – finally we see a Disney movie that utilizes the culture it depicts in its soundtrack!

An Innocent Warrior is another strong Polynesian number, it has beautiful vocals and is really moving. But I disliked Where You Are quite a bit as it is so bland, so forgettable and it is probably the weakest song in the entire movie. I also disliked You’re Welcome which featured too much rap and Dwayne Johnson singing is not my cup of tea. That sequence is comedic and it explains his character well, but the tune as a whole was annoying.

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

Shiny is a much better rap song. I still dislike that that genre was featured here as it does not fit, but I found the song’s chorus to be very catchy and memorable. But I have to say that I strongly disliked how this song started, but more on that later. I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors) was to me such a powerful number and not that much in the tune itself, but in terms of storytelling and characterization, it probably succeeds the most out of any song here as it perfectly helps us prepare for the storm and is so emotional and with beautiful vocals.

Logo Te Pate is also such a catchy, fun number that I liked a lot. But the highlights are naturally How Far I’ll Go which was Oscar-nominated and We Know the Way. How Far I’ll Go is such a classic Disney song in its style and it perfectly helps develop the character of Moana while also having a great scene to accompany it with good imagery and such good lyrics. But it is so immensely catchy too.

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

But to me We Know the Way is easily the highlight. I love this song so much! With superb lyrics and a great usage of Tokelauan language, it features such a great scene as a whole and I just loved that backstory in this movie. But it is such a catchy tune, so catchy and so fun that I actually have listened to it at least fifty times so far. It is a new Disney classic song in my opinion.

So naturally I love these songs so much and I think the soundtrack is mostly superb and stupendous, but I really disliked the musical direction in this film. For example, We Know the Way just sort of started and those transitions were not the most polished. But as I said above, Shiny starts in such an unappealing way with the character basically saying that he is going to sing. I disliked this meta approach to the songs so much as it basically adds another strong reason for musical haters to hate the genre. I would have liked a more respectful approach.

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

I liked the humor in Moana quite a bit, but I liked that it was mostly dramatic and that it focused on adventure and drama the most. It is a high-spirited adventure, but it succeeds in emotion as well because a couple of scenes are just so powerful, either poignant or uplifting. And some scenes, such as the last couple of them, are grand and majestic in both scope and emotion. The film is definitely ambitious in some areas.

The animation is gorgeous to behold. I loved its use of hand-drawn animation, but this is the first computer animated film from Ron Clements and John Musker and the results are more than stellar. The character designs are pretty good, but the highlights are some of the highly memorable imagery and the ocean. The water is so well animated and a character in its own right.

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Moana Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The film is well edited and well directed, I found the tone to be well handled and diverse and the film is emotionally engaging, but the dialogue needed to be much bigger to sell those abundant conversations and emotional scenes better. And because the film was too simplistic and definitely unoriginal in its storytelling, it never achieved the status of those Renaissance flicks from the nineties, but it came actually pretty close at times which I did not expect. And I loved that it was a return to classical Disney musicals and that is the major reason why I liked it more than Zootopia’ from the same year. it has its problems, but it is so wonderful and adventurous that it mostly succeeds.

Moana has its problems such as some typical plot points, a lack of stronger dialogue and I really dislike Maui and the film’s annoying meta approach at times, but the film succeeds as a high-spirited, grand adventure and it is a return to those classic musical adventure films from Disney which is why I loved it so much. The characters are mostly good, the film is very emotional at times, its lack of villains is admirable, some scenes are just beautiful and majestic to behold and the film’s Polynesian setting is so well utilized and intriguing. But the soundtrack is just fantastic with so many great, catchy or emotional numbers with the highlights being How Far I’ll Go and especially We Know the Way which are definitely future Disney classics.

My Rating – 4

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The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The Lego Batman Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 animated superhero comedy film directed by Chris McKay and starring Will Arnett and Michael Cera. It is a pretty good film.

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Black. All good movies start with a black screen

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

I liked the plot here quite a bit. It was definitely typical and so obvious in a couple of its plot points, but the overall storyline is actually quite dramatic and more meaningful than I thought it would be. Along with less action and better humor, its big heart is the reason why it is ultimately better than ‘The Lego Movie’.

As for the characters, most are really good, but some are lacking. Batman is absolutely fantastic and possibly one of the best interpretations of this character yet. He is a hero, but also arrogant and selfish. He has his problems, his past is explored and I loved his humor. He was the funniest and deepest character here and the heart and soul of the entire film.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Joker is phenomenal as well. I loved how he was funny and amusing here and what they did with their relationship was genius. They basically have a bromance here which was so great to witness, not only in terms of the humor, but also in terms of characterization as it fits these characters and explains a lot about them in a comedic manner.

Robin is funny, typical but funny at times. And I loved his relationship with Batman and how they eventually became father and son. Alfred was also excellent and his interactions with Batman were some of the best here. I loved how they made him a guardian and Bats was an angry child, so funny, yet again fitting and clever.

Barbara Gordon is okay and serves her purpose, but she was somewhat typical and I wasn’t the biggest fan of her as she is ultimately too forgettable in comparison to the other major characters. Harley Quinn and most of the other villains were seriously underutilized and there lies the problem – the film is crowded with too many characters and cameos, but unfortunately most of them come and fly by quickly and just are not memorable enough.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

What they did with non-superhero villains is a two-edged sword. Again they were underutilized as there were too many of them and they weren’t as funny as they should have been. But I liked the overall idea behind it and that subplot was actually pretty intriguing and was very well incorporated into the overall story. Lord Voldemort and Sauron are the highlights there, both are frequently funny and the best used of these villains for sure.

The voice acting is phenomenal here. Rosario Dawson is forgettable as her character is and I wasn’t the biggest fan of Zach Galifianakis’ voice or performance here, but Michael Cera was suitably casted in this role and he did a really good job. Ralph Fiennes was also very good. But naturally the standout actor is Will Arnett. I just love his work here and he carried the entire movie on his shoulders. An excellent voice and an overall terrific comedic performance.

The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t have the most memorable animation in it. Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly fine and respectable with the character designs again being terrific, but I wasn’t blown away by it as a whole with not enough particularly memorable imagery or sequences.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Again the film has too much action, overwhelming at times. Its overall emotional arc is also typical and predictable, albeit very well done and with a lot of heart. As for its humor, I liked it quite a bit, but sometimes it was overly childish with typical jokes and slapstick oriented too much for the younger audience. The film overall should have been a bit more mature.

But the film did frequently make me laugh. The highlights were of course Batman, Joker and Robin. Everything surrounding Batman was great as he was hilarious with his larger than life, crazy personality. I loved his calmer moments, but his interactions with everyone were great. I loved the opening and closing credits, so humorous. His relationship with Joker also provided many chuckles and I liked the film’s various superhero and movie references, some were overwhelming, but most were clever and memorable. The film isn’t hilarious, but it is very funny at times and mostly satisfying in its humor.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The Lego Batman Movie features sometimes interesting soundtrack, but it was mostly too angry and loud in tone, albeit that was fitting for the protagonist. The film is mostly quite well paced and is well directed and well scripted with some solid dialogue and a great emotional investment to it. Overall, it thoroughly succeeds as a spin-off because they picked the best character from the original and let him have his own movie and the results are more than stellar.

The Lego Batman Movie again has overwhelming action at times, it is definitely crowded with too many characters and some plot points are typical and obvious, but this is mostly a very good, satisfying spin-off with excellent voice acting, very good humor with many very funny lines and a great use of its characters with Batman in particular being not only funny, but also surprisingly well developed. It is ultimately an improvement over its predecessor because it is funnier and it has a much bigger heart.

My Rating – 4

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review

A Boy Named Charlie Brown is a 1969 animated comedy drama film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the first Peanuts feature film and actually one of my favorite animated films period.

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Well, I can understand how you feel.

You worked hard, studying for the spelling bee, and I suppose you feel you let everyone down,

and you made a fool of yourself and everything.

But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?

The world didn’t come to an end.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I love this movie so much! To me it was such an almost perfect way to transition from specials to a feature and surely enough, this film is better than the majority of specials themselves, at least when it comes to my opinion. They managed to include as much of the classic Peanuts characters and humor and situations as possible and thus becoming a quintessential Peanuts outing.

I loved that it focused on the spelling bee instead of sports as that made it much more enjoyable for a non-sports fan like me. Every spelling bee scene was just terrific. Another highlight is Lucy’s scene in psychiatric booth, that was genius. To me this film is far from perfect and surely it does have too much musical numbers in it and the first act is sorely lacking in comparison to the rest of the film, but the rest is so great that I forgive those flaws.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Of course the ending makes this movie. Wow, rarely have I seen a better conclusion in an animated film. Charlie Brown loses the game and closes in his room and refuses to ever come out. Linus comes in and tells him that he failed, but the universe didn’t come to an end because of it. That line in a nutshell is the reason why I respect this series as a whole. It never sugarcoats, but actually truthfully explains to children that they may continue losing and that winning is uncertain, but it isn’t the end of the world if you lose and that you should continue trying. A fantastic message in such a brilliant, wonderful ending.

Let’s talk about the characters. Charlie Brown is excellent! Rarely has he been this good in a special before or after. I loved that Peter Robbins voiced the character and I loved that he was at his angriest and most depressing mood here. He was relatable and you root for him throughout the entire movie.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Peppermint Patty was surely missed here, but all of the others are here thankfully. Lucy is as hilarious as ever and some of her lines and moments made me laugh out loud. Snoopy was solid, but not as great as the others were. But thankfully this time around his scenes did not take as much screen time as they usually do. Schroeder and Sally are well used, but Linus is one the highlights in one of his best roles ever. I loved the emphasis on his security blanket and he is so endearing here, but he is also there for his friend which made him even more lovable.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown has a couple of songs in it so let me touch upon all of them. The Star-Spangled Banner was out of place and Failure Face is forgettable, albeit being a great scene, but I Before E is very catchy and a great way for children to learn spelling, Champion Charlie Brown is solid and the titular number is certainly quite charming and endearing. The songs are actually quite solid here, at least half of them are.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The animation is really good and as pleasant as usual with the character designs being faithful and top-notch. The voice acting is of the best variety and using the best of the earlier voices. The score is quite good and the film is stupendously well made in terms of the technical aspects. It is not only well directed, but also polished in its shots and so deft in its editing as it is never slow and never rushed, it lasts for just the right amount of running time. It is always wonderful to watch, the dialogue is as clever as you would expect from the series and the humor is some of the best of the entire series as it made me laugh more than a couple of times with many hilarious parts. I loved its skillful tone too as it balanced light tone with humor and serious tone with drama and messages beautifully. It is overall a tremendously well realized movie and one of my favorite Peanuts stories and one of my favorite animated features as a whole.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown managed to bring everything you want from Peanuts to the table and it did that beautifully. The humor is excellent and some of the lines were hilarious, the characters are superbly utilized with Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus being the highlights, the film is very well made technically and of course the standout is the final scene which features such a respectable, truly great message for children and it was a beautiful, brave way to end the movie.

My Rating – 5

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