Sister Act (1992)

Sister Act Movie Review

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Sister Act Movie Review

Sister Act is a 1992 comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg. It is such a a charming, fun movie.

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What am I gonna do here?

I’m gonna go crazy!

There’s nothing but a lot of white women

dressed as nuns! What am I gonna do here?

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Sister Act Movie Review

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It follows a woman who accidentally witnesses a murder and has to be put in a convent in order to be safe. There she pretends to be a nun and befriends other nuns, eventually teaching them how to sing and renewing interest in their church.
Yes, the story does sound clichéd in a typical 90s fashion. It is definitely a product of its time – naive and saccharine. However, I still liked it quite a bit despite those odds as it has a certain charm to it and mostly because the characters are so memorable.
Deloris is such an unforgettable protagonist and Reverend Mother is typical, yet very well developed. The two have such a great progressive relationship. And of course Sister Mary Patrick and Sister Mary Robert are such likable comic reliefs. Their group is so much fun.

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Sister Act Movie Review

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Harvey Keitel plays such a tired gangster as he always does and he is certainly boring here. But the nuns are solidly acted and naturally Maggie Smith killed it in a role best suited for her. She is always superb in the role of cold women who eventually show their softer side. As for Whoopi Goldberg, she definitely is a hugely underrated comedic actress and one of the best, especially of its time. She is immensely likable, she gave such a strong performance and her charisma and comic delivery are remarkable.
Sister Act is also a musical in a way as it definitely has a strong emphasis on songs and I liked all of them, especially the entire performances which were a lot of fun. But I would still classify it as a comedy above all else. Of course I did not care for those gangster elements and they certainly were too mild which was expected of this type of movie.
The film is definitely great for kids. But the humor is so good. I loved some of Deloris’s lines which cracked me up and Whoopi is just wonderful here. It is a shame that she only got this movie and ‘Ghost’ when she should have gotten the chance to play in at least one more big movie during the nineties.

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Sister Act Movie Review

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It is well edited and flies by as it is hugely entertaining. Some scenes worked better than the others, but most were either charming or funny. The film is emotional, but rarely overly sentimental. Despite its flaws, it has such an apparent charm to it that I fell victim to it. It reminded me of all those 90s family flicks I grew up with and although I would usually loathe that as I am not a nostalgic person, here I liked it mostly because of the characters.

Sister Act is childish, naive and definitely clichéd, but also quite charming and a lot of fun. It can be quite funny at times so it succeeds as a memorable comedy. The musical performances are also very entertaining and Whoopi Goldberg is just so fantastic here – hugely charismatic and hilarious. The movie is a product of its time, but a sweet one nevertheless.

My Rating – 4

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) (1980)

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) Movie Review

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is a 1980 animated family film which is the last and to me the weakest of the first four Peanuts feature movies.

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The last time you went away, big brother,

your team won three games in a row

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

I don’t know about this one. I have to admit that I wanted to give a four star rating to every Peanuts sequel and unfortunately I just can’t do that this time around as this is a solid film, but definitely weaker than all the rest of the Peanuts entries.

Charlie Brown along with his friends goes to the French country side where he was invited by a girl to stay in the chateau. Eventually, the mystery is revealed – Charlie Brown’s grandfather helped the baron during World War II. That’s it, that is the story here.

Naturally it is interesting and the mystery is handled well, I guess. Plus the setting is a lot of fun. But it isn’t suited for a Peanuts adventure and I just always had the feeling that it lacked the entertainment factor almost entirely. There are some gags here and there, but the film is mostly devoid of humour and adventure, but rather settles on this mystery. So disappointing.

Another disappointing thing about Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is its very narrow set of characters. I mean a Peanuts movie without Lucy isn’t a Peanuts movie in my book. And Sally is basically not here either. Of those characters that went on this adventure, Charlie Brown is the most disappointing as he is never the loser he is supposed to be here. In some scenes he is pathetic and funny, but mostly he is too dull.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Linus is also pretty forgettable. Pierre has his moments and that girl Violette is likable, but also forgettable. Peppermint Patty and Marcie, but mostly just Patty, save this movie. The highlights were all of Patty’s sequences here for sure. The one where she is sitting with Chuck in the class and tormenting him is hilarious and of course the final scene where Snoopy kisses her is also very funny. Marcie is an expectedly great sidekick too.

Speaking of Snoopy, surprisingly enough, he is another one of the highlights here. He and Woodstock of course. The duo has some surprisingly hilarious scenes here and none of them stall the movie as usual, but add a lot of the charm and pleasant humour to the table. The airplane scene is the funniest, but then again each scene with these two was very good this time around.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is well directed and edited. Some of the lines cracked me up and as I said the characters here are half-good as half of them deliver, but the other half is thoroughly lacking. I liked the French and chateau setting quite a bit and I liked the journey to there with the driving and flying sequences being a lot of fun. And the mystery is fine, but I wanted this flick to be more of a comedy adventure and it too many times failed in that department. So it ended up being a solid flick, but easily the weakest of all five Peanuts features.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown has some very funny sequences, the mystery is interesting, the setting is nice and Peppermint Patty stole the show this time around along with Snoopy, but all of the other characters were lacking in my opinion and the film is rarely as adventurous and as comedic as I would have liked leading to unfortunately the weakest Peanuts feature.

My Rating – 3.5

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Time Bandits (1981)

Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits Movie Review

Time Bandits is a 1981 family fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Cleese and Sean Connery. It is such a frustrating, disappointing film.

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Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Now I obviously dislike Terry Gilliam as I do not care for most of his movies and that is why I didn’t like Time Bandits as well. He infuses this movie with his signature and very annoying style and thus ruins what could have been a great family fantasy flick with interesting time travel elements.

The biggest problem is its lack of identity. The film tries to be both a family fantasy adventure and a bizarre, odd comedy for adults and you can’t have it both ways. Some parts were admittedly funny and some scenes were very interestingly conceived and intriguing in imagery and mythology, but for the most part both of these movies failed in my opinion.

That is because the fantasy elements were mostly overly campy and filled with a ridiculous villain and many silly characters such as those dwarfs. Not only silly, but the characters are also annoying and some are even plain unlikable.

As for its comedy, it fails in that regard as well owing to its obvious Pythonian style. And having in mind that I do not like ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, I naturally disliked that that humor was present here too. So disappointing and not to mention really not fitting to this story.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits does have some inspired scenes with awesome imagery and great effects for its time. Its first half contained some clever dialogue and funny lines. And the overall film is certainly original in plot and characters, but done for better and for worse. I just had such high expectations for this film and it left me feeling cold and even bored. In the hands of any other director, this would have turned out great, but in the hands of Terry Gilliam, it ended up being another frustrating experiment.

Time Bandits is such a frustrating movie and another proof that I strongly dislike Terry Gilliam’s style. It does have some interesting scenes and imagery and you can’t deny its originality, but it is tonally inconsistent as it tries to be both a family fantasy flick and an odd, bizarre comedy and it just never succeeds in either of those areas as the humor is overly Pythonian and the fantasy elements and characters are silly.

My Rating – 3

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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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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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Heidi (1937)

Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

Heidi Movie Review

Heidi is a 1937 family drama film starring Shirley Temple. It is a very disappointing, at times even annoying adaptation.

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Well, I’ve always had a sheet and coverlet,

but if there aren’t any,

I could sleep under the hay

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Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

I am a big fan of the book which is why this film adaptation disappointed me immensely. It couldn’t even be considered an adaptation, that’s how much they changed and ruined the source material. Whereas the book is all about the Alps, religion and of course the various benefits of the country, this film is all about Frankfurt and Fraulein Rottenmeier. So ridiculous.

The core of the movie is the relationship between Heidi and her grandfather and that was great. That is the only aspect of it that stayed true to the original and even accentuated their love a bit more which was wonderful to witness. But there is no Peter here whatsoever which is just super frustrating and of course the message is all wrong. They missed the point of the novel entirely. The book showcases the strengths and health benefits of living in the country and Clara heals just as she spends some time in the Alps, but here she heals in the house due to the help from Heidi. I do not understand how could the filmmakers be this clueless. It really bothered me.

Let’s talk about the characters. I really liked Heidi. She isn’t whom I imagined in the book, but Shirley Temple is so wonderful that she elevated the role. I realized watching her why she was so popular during the thirties. Not only is she cute, but so charismatic and obviously talented too. Jean Hersholt also did a really good job and the role was great.

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Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

But all of the other characters are all wrong. Clara is actually better developed than in the book, if a bit too old. But Detie is ridiculously villainous and of course Fraulein Rottenmeier is just silly. She was too over-the-book in the book itself, but here she was written as a straight off villain! She is so evil and so horrible that she became a cartoon character. And an overemphasis on her is what killed this movie. Andrews the butler is solid and sometimes even funny, but all of the other characters are underutilized.

Heidi is actually very well filmed. I really liked the sets, they looked wonderful. Both the village and the mountain looked great which is why the decision to feature more of Frankfurt felt so disappointing. It is well edited and well acted and all around very well made. The humor is interestingly quite solid and some of the moments between the girls were quite charming and heartwarming.

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Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

They just missed the book’s point which is why it frustrated me. But if you watch it separately from the book (as you basically should as most of it is just way too different to even be considered as an adaptation), it is actually solid and much better than when you compare it. I do understand what they were trying to do as they wanted a shorter, well structured movie, but it still ended up being childish instead of childlike and that is a major difference. The book is sweet and meaningful, but the movie, no matter how well made, is overly cartoony, simplistic and just plain silly at times. I do not hate this movie as it serves its purpose, but as an adaptation, it failed miserably and left me wishing for much more.

The 1937 adaptation of Heidi is incredibly disappointing. Yes, it is very well made, sometimes charming and humorous and Shirley Temple is lovable and she gave a respectable performance, but this movie failed on almost every level as an adaptation because they focused on all the wrong things, they entirely missed the point of the novel and some aspects felt either silly or just downright cartoony.

My Rating – 3

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The Wind in the Willows (1983)

The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The Wind in the Willows Movie Review

The Wind in the Willows is a 1983 stop-motion animated film which is one of the many versions of this famous story. It is a solid movie.

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I’ve been told you are a criminal of deepest guilt,

and matchless artfulness and resource…

whatever that means.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

I really like this story and I loved Disney’s version of it featured in ‘The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad’. This 1983 version was admittedly solid and very well made and respectable, but it felt inferior to the aforementioned example because the story was just never as interesting or as exciting. Some plot points were excellent, but some were lacking such as that inferior, prolonged and dull beginning.

But the character development is actually quite strong. All of the characters are very well developed and quite likable. Mole and Rat were quite endearing and they served great as a team, charmingly British too. Toad was expectedly goofy, amusing and sometimes very funny. The character interactions between the three of them were top-notch.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The voice acting is also quite good as all of the voices were fittingly British and elegant in style and again quite charming. I loved Toad’s amusing voice too. However, the voices were poorly incorporated with the animation itself as it never accompanies the movements of the characters well. This is something that early stop-motion films struggled with constantly and I don’t blame them as much because the technology just wasn’t there yet, but this is one of worse examples of it as it just felt too jerky, too choppy and plain unfinished. It is the only area of the film which felt like a TV movie. This is actually a TV movie, but it never felt like it as the story and animation are great, but the movements did feel TV for sure.

The animation in The Wind in the Willows is excellent. Very effervescent and very endearing. The character designs are exquisite, detailed and all of them look great and are well clothed as well. Their movements are again subpar, but the imagery is pretty good and some of it was very pleasant and memorable.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The Wind in the Willows is also really well edited and the film flows well for its short running time, but it isn’t as engaging as it should have been and it should have had more action in it. That goes without question as the film was too mild in my opinion. The humor is pretty good and the characterization is great, but it should have been brisker and more entertaining. The score is fine, but the songs are so-so. Some are solid, but some are dull and they were overwhelming in their presence. Overall, it is a solid, but inherently flawed movie.

The 1983 version of The Wind in the Willows is quite solid with excellent animation, very good character development with great interactions between the three major characters and the film is charmingly British, but the songs are lackluster, the movements are not well synched with the voice acting at all and the film should have been brisker and more entertaining in its approach.

My Rating – 3.5

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Children of Heaven (1997)

Children of Heaven Review……………………………………………………..

Children of Heaven Movie Review

Children of Heaven is a 1997 Iranian family drama film directed by Majid Majidi. It is a flawed, but moving picture.

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Don’t cry. I’ll go after your shoes right away. I’ll find them

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Children of Heaven Review……………………………………………………..

It follows a brother and sister and their adventures over a pair of lost shoes. I really liked the story here. Yes, it is evidently very simplistic, but it is still effective and this kind of a film can always melt your heart. It was so heartwarming and just beautiful watching these two innocent souls and it is one of the best family films of its time.

I really liked the characters and I wished that the film focused even more on the children than it did. They are wonderful together and I felt as if I was watching real children and not just characters owing to a good script, excellent characterization and two very good performances from two talented child actors.

The film is very well directed by Majid Majidi and solidly edited. Its heart is in the right place and some scenes are just immensely powerful and memorable. The highlights were the quest for lost shoes and that moment where the girl longingly watched another schoolgirl eat her lunch is a small moment, but nonetheless an effective and heartbreaking one.

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Children of Heaven Review……………………………………………………..

So Children of Heaven is very well made, incredibly moving and mostly effective. Then why did it still disappoint me? Well, the answer is twofold. One reason is that the film is just never as engaging as I wish it would have been. And another reason is its supporting characters. The adults are good, but not particularly well defined and the film’s structure is odd and it meanders a bit when it doesn’t focus on the children themselves. And some scenes, particularly that race in the third act, were just way too extended and frankly boring, reducing the impact of the overall movie. But this Iranian drama is still a very good one and it can emotionally affect even the most hardened of souls.

Children of Heaven is flawed in structure and pacing, but the film is so effective in its simple storytelling and very good characterization that it becomes such a moving tale that can really affect you emotionally. Watching the two children was so heartwarming and at times heartbreaking, the child actors gave very good performances, the film is mostly very well made and it succeeds as such an emotional family drama with a couple of truly powerful sequences.

My Rating – 4

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Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Pete's Dragon Movie Review………………………………………………………

Pete’s Dragon Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon is a 2016 family fantasy adventure film directed by David Lowery and it is the newest Disney live-action remake. It is a solid, but typical endeavor.

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You can’t say ‘dragon’ over the radio

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Pete's Dragon Movie Review………………………………………………………

The film tells the story of an orphaned boy who befriends a dragon in the forest and the ensuing repercussions of their discovery by the town’s local residents. It is the remake of the 1977 eponymous movie and it succeeds as a remake for two reasons. One is that the original itself is one of the weakest, if not the weakest, live-action animated Disney feature so it was pretty easy to top it which this one did. And the second reason is that it abandons the original’s storyline in pursuit of its own.

And that latter approach is done for better and for worse. On the one hand, it certainly works better to have a live-action adaptation that isn’t a cheesy, overlong musical and is rather a straightforward adventure movie. But the problem here lies in its familiarity. We’ve seen this countless times before. Just in this movie you can see the influences of ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’. It is never original and it never has anything truly unique or interesting in it.

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Pete's Dragon Movie Review………………………………………………………

Pete’s Dragon is still done really well despite its tired plot. The execution is so good that it is actually one of the better kids’ flicks of this type. I particularly liked its third act which featured some pretty good action scenes and a very good conclusion with a strong emotional payoff.

But the characters and their actors are not the greatest. All of the characters are as typical and as forgettable as you would expect from this type of family film. And by the way, the entire film is incredibly forgettable, both the remake and the original, which is something that this property never managed to overcome. And the actors are very weak or they gave weak performances. The child performances are solid, but Bryce Dallas Howard was much better and much more memorable in ‘Jurassic World’ and Robert Redford is… well, let’s just say that he seemed like he didn’t want to be there. That is his performance in a nutshell.

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Pete's Dragon Movie Review………………………………………………………

But even though I criticize it too much, Pete’s Dragon is actually a good or solid at least movie with especially good CGI. I did find it typical for today’s movie to have an animal that acts like a dog, but Elliot was otherwise really solid both in his look and in his personality. And the relationship between the two is been there, done that, but at least it is very well done and sometimes actually quite moving and warm. The soundtrack is good and definitely fitting in its country genre, but it still had way too many songs in it. The structure of the movie is good, but it is sometimes a bit too slow and uninvolving. And the beginning was weird as it just kind of started, but the other parts are all good with the entire third act being a real winner. All in all, it is a solid live-action adaptation, but both ‘Cinderella and ‘The Jungle Book’ were much better in my opinion.

Pete’s Dragon is sometimes uninvolving, definitely forgettable, weakly acted and overly familiar in its storyline, but it is also pretty heartwarming at times, its third act is very good, the special effects are solid and the movie succeeds as a remake because they took a different approach that worked in its favor and it ended up being much better than the original which was very weak.

My Rating – 3.5

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The BFG (2016)

The BFG Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG is a 2016 family fantasy film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill. It is a very good, underappreciated family flick.

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Why did you take me?

Because I hears your lonely heart,

in all the secret whisperings of the world

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The BFG Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

An orphan human girl befriends a benevolent giant who takes her to Giant Country where they attempt to stop the man-eating giants that are invading the human world. I really enjoyed this movie and I found the plot to be mostly very good, which is expected from a Roald Dahl material. It is such a wonderful, old-fashioned family fantasy adventure that it is such a shame that it did poorly at the box office. My appreciation for Spielberg’s lesser valued movies over those more well liked ones continues with The BFG.

The first half is splendid, magical and just wonderful to behold. I loved how fantastical it is, but also adventurous. And I admired its childlike approach with less darkness and more light. That was unexpected for this age which is why I found it pleasant and quite welcome. And yes, the second half is silly. The protagonist coming with the giant to see the Queen of England naturally leads to silliness. However, even though it was a bit too silly, I still liked it as I found the humor there to be pretty funny and charming, if admittedly juvenile.

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The BFG Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

I loved the characters. Yes, the girl could be a bit annoying at times, buts she is mostly likable and the relationship between the two drives the movie as it is simply beautiful and so effervescent. This movie is the best Disney film that Disney has never made, that is the best way to describe it and to explain why I dug it so much. The titular Big Friendly Giant is absolutely magnificent and such a wonderful creation. All of the other giants are typically malicious, but memorable and I liked the queen quite a bit.

Mark Rylance destroyed this movie and he made it totally his own. It is amazing to behold how wonderfully they mixed his performance within motion-capture and he truly gave one heck of a performance. His smile is infectious and the look in his eyes is so warm and just wonderful to behold how he achieved a lot with just his looks. He is easily the best part of the movie and it is such a shame that he received an Oscar for his not so great performance in ‘Bridge of Spies’ when he is obviously so much better here. Infinitely better.

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3……………………………………………………………….

The BFG is well directed by Spielberg, but also very well shot and exquisitely looking in special effects. Some of it was a bit too like an animated movie, but most of it was pretty good and the highlights were those dream making sequences as they were filled with wonderful colors and such beautiful visuals. The film is awkwardly paced and a bit too long, but it is mostly very engaging which was great. Ruby Barnhill was quite weak at times and she was a problem in a movie which needed her great performance just as much as it needed Rylance. But she is a child actor which is why I am not holding much against her. Overall, the movie is definitely flawed, but it is so good for the most part that I found it to be wonderful.

The BFG is an obviously flawed movie with a weak child performance at its center, somewhat problematic pacing and a silly second half, but that second half is funny and entertaining, the entire movie is wonderfully old-fashioned and childlike, it is visually pleasant, the relationship at the center of it is so moving and it benefits from a particularly inspired performance from Mark Rylance who carried the entire movie on his shoulders. Such an underrated film.

My Rating – 4

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