Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 family science fiction film starring Joey Cramer. It surely is one of the better family sci-fi films out there.

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Correction, I need the SUPERIOR information

in your INFERIOR brain to fly this thing

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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It follows a 12-year-old boy who gets abducted by aliens and ends up on Earth 8 years later. It is a very interesting, somewhat original tale which was very involving to watch and, thanks to its short runtime, quite entertaining and consistently well paced and even riveting.

It has some typical 80s trappings such as some goofy moments and humor, but it manages to be better than most of its family counterparts thanks in large part to the inclusion of science fiction elements. Sci-fi family films are rare and this one manages to be a pretty strong SF film in its own right and a particularly strong, wonderful film for children.

It only has a handful of memorable characters as it mostly relies just on David the protagonist. His family is sweet and I especially liked his brother and their relationship was strong and very realistic. Sarah Jessica Parker was just around 20 when filming this movie and it was very interesting seeing her so young in a role and she did a really nice job as charming Carolyn.

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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David Freeman is a charming, likable kid. He should have been a bit better developed, but he is so endearing that I ended up caring and rooting for him. Joey Cramer’s performance is frequently weak, but he is definitely charismatic and likable in the role that he managed to overcome his lack of strong acting abilities.

Max is problematic and the only problem in the film. Now I admittedly really liked him at first, but I ended up being annoyed at the choice to have him upload David’s memories and thus he got some speech patterns and voices of humans. Those were way too goofy, overloud and annoying. Because the new voices were childish, their relationship, at first strong and moving, was later somewhat robbed of its impact. They are still a great duo, but I just wished that he retained that old robotic voice personally.

Flight of the Navigator has a bunch of memorable sequences such as every flight sequence which were all wondrous in quality and the ending is very sweet of course. I loved the aliens’ scene and they mostly looked really well. I could see that they were puppets, but the one he took to take care of was the highlight in terms of the design. The film is somewhat slower in first half and more dramatic with the latter half becoming full-on science fiction. I liked that quite a bit and that structure and pacing were excellent here.

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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This charmer undoubtedly features some of the best special effects of any 80s film. Wow, does it look great. The creatures looked fine and cute, but the robot looks great and especially that spaceship looked amazing and how it flew and moved around was very realistic. This is early CGI and having in mind that it holds up so well even today definitely is remarkable. But it does open itself for future remakes which they are making as I am typing this. The score is incredibly beautiful as well and the film’s strong technical aspects really propel it to a classic status.

Flight of the Navigator is at times a bit too goofy, but mostly a remarkable family science fiction tale. Max and David are memorable characters, the flight sequences are wondrous in their quality and the ending is very sweet. Thanks to its imaginative plot, beautiful score and simply outstanding CGI (certainly some of the best of the 80s), this flick remains endearing and moving today just as it was back then.

My Rating – 4.5

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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Mrs. Doubtfire Review

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 family comedy film directed by Chris Columbus and starring Robin Williams and Sally Field. It is a flawed, but charming film.

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Broke my bag, the bastard. Ooh!

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

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This is surely one of my childhood favorites as I have watched it on TV as a kid multiple times. As an adult, it is nowhere near as magical and some ugly flaws are revealed to me now, but it still holds up pretty well and is a good film overall.

All of these drag comedy films such as this one and ‘Tootsie’ are pretty dated in today’s society where trans women and drag queens are getting more and more recognition and respect. And surely enough, there are some scenes here that are awfully uncomfortable, dated and transphobic with the urination exposition scene being the most obvious offender.

Still this film is so charming, wonderful and endearing that you can’t help but enjoy it tremendously. It did not need to last for two hours, but it is so entertaining and wonderfully childlike that it mostly flies by and I’ve had such a great time watching it. The overall story promotes fatherhood in a great, meaningful manner and I honestly loved that the two did not stay together, but found a way for both to have a lot of time with the kids. That was great.

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

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Robin Williams’ humor is pretty dated in my opinion as it is overly theatrical. And this movie is never truly hilarious and although funny at times, it should have been much funnier having in mind it’s a comedy. But still it is amusing and his character here is amazing and really well developed and imagined. He definitely gave one of his stronger performances here.

Sally Field is also great and reliably fantastic in the wife’s role. I loved the relationship between the two and to me the film succeeded in realistically portraying a marriage that is ending. The kids are fine, but should have been more memorable. And Pierce Brosnan is very well cast as this potential love interest for Miranda and he did a good job in the role.

Mrs. Doubtfire is the best in the scenes with the character being in the house with the children and talking with the wife. I wish it had more such scenes. The restaurant scene is very typical in its situational comedy, but still very well done. I also really liked the animation scene at the beginning.

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

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The movie is very well made and superbly acted and also directed by Chris Columbus who was a perfect choice for this family flick. It is long, but entertaining and mostly solidly paced. Of course the make-up is amazing and deservedly won an Oscar. I definitely thought that the film was overly sentimental at times, but still undeniably sweet and moving in those scenes. Overall, it isn’t quite as good as when I saw it as a kid, but it still holds up well.

Mrs. Doubtfire is a childhood favorite that is overly dated in some of its humor and sometimes excessively sentimental, but still it holds up pretty well thanks to Robin Williams’ very strong performance in a highly memorable role, some charming and funny scenes and a great ending. It is a very flawed, but undeniably sweet and pleasant family flick.

My Rating – 4

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth entry in this franchise starring Johnny Depp and this time directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. It’s quite solid.

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I saw her ankles. You would’ve seen a lot more

if you kept your cakehole shut

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

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This entry is a certain improvement over the previous film which was easily the worst in the entire series. This one is weaker than the original trilogy, but at least a step in the right direction. Although I have to say that I wasn’t thrilled with that post-credits sequence at all. I do not like when they bring back old or dead characters as the sixth entry will supposedly be about Elizabeth, Will and Davy Jones. Not a fan for now.

Here the storyline is actually quite solid though the film is definitely very jumbled in its execution and it tries to have too many plot points in it and thus most are left underutilized. I liked that finally we get a two-hour Pirates film but it still felt overdrawn thanks to its weak pacing and too much action sequences.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

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I dislike Javier Bardem and I have just never cared for him. Here is the same. He did a good job and Salazar is a solid villain, but I would have liked to have seen somebody else personally. Henry Turner and Carina Smith are actually quite solid new additions to the team. Certainly they felt like imitations at times of Elizabeth and Will, but I liked their relationship quite a bit. She is an overly aggressive feminist character and he is typical, but they are miles better than Penelope Cruz’s character in the previous film.

I was sad to see Captain Barbossa die. That was a powerful sequence, but still not necessary. I liked that she turned out to be his daughter, but the two did not seem like father and daughter to me personally and their relationship was underdeveloped and thus his death did feel unnecessary.

Gibbs is solid and it was nice seeing Elizabeth and Will again. That ending was perfect in my opinion. Not only the romantic reunions but Jack bickering about it was so funny. Speaking of Jack, he is the weakest link here. He felt overly drunk and not in control this time around and actually he wasn’t all that much in the movie. He should be the center of each Pirates film and thus I was incredibly disappointed that this time around that wasn’t the case.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

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Dead Men Tell No Tales is very well made with again excellent scenery and special effects. The score is also pretty strong per usual. The direction is solid, but you’d expect the directors of high-spirited adventure ‘Kon-Tiki’ to do a much better job than what they did in the end. So the film is perfectly solid, but very flawed across the board. The action is well executed but the humor should have been better.

Dead Men Tell No Tales suffers from not having enough Jack in it, the pacing is all over the place and the story is fine, but underutilized in too many plot points. The action is solid, but again overwhelming. The new characters are actually quite fine and the ending was the highlight of the film. It is eventually a pretty solid film that is weaker than the original trilogy, but a certain improvement over the last worst entry.

My Rating – 3.5

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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

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

the sudden urge to jump…

I Don’t have it

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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

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

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

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review

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

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

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

My Rating – 3

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a 2007 fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp. It is a solid, but weaker third installment.

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Dying is the day worth living for

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Movie Review

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Now I found the first and the second movie to be mostly equal and quality and both are very good. But this one is unfortunately not as good and although solid, it is a somewhat disappointing end to this trilogy. Well, it was a trilogy for its time anyway.

There are a lot of things that are wrong with At World’s End so let’s start with the story itself. It is a memorable conclusion to this story and especially the third act is very rewarding emotionally and in terms of the action. However, everything that came before it was very problematic.

The film is filled with way too many subplots and storylines and I agree with the critics that it is way too convoluted for the sake of being convoluted and it is at times even difficult to understand which is not supposed to happen for a fun blockbuster at all. So I loved the third act, but the first and especially the second one were overlong and troublesome.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Movie Review

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Jack is once again very good. The part with the doppelgangers was painfully unfunny, but he is otherwise reliably good and amusing here and again quite funny. Barbossa is also very good and funny how eager he is to return to being a captain. The chairman and other British men were not memorable and I have to say that Davy Jones wasn’t as compelling here as he was before.

But I liked his romance with Tia Dalma, but her Calypso twist is not all that well executed. As for Will and Elizabeth, he died here which was a brave choice and their kiss at the end was well filmed and again she is pleasantly more heroic here. But still I am not a fan of her and she took way too much screen time from Jack.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is well acted. Keira Knightley is still annoying in the role, but less so than before and of course Bill Nighy and Johnny Depp are the highlights with such strong performances.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Movie Review

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The film again has those pitfalls of a regular POC entry such as overlong runtime and too much action and spectacle, but some of that action was a lot of fun to watch and it does serve as a solid conclusion to this trilogy. The special effects are expectedly terrific and the score is very good though I would have liked a bigger use of their iconic score which is surprisingly not as prevalent this time around. All in all, it is a solid film, just not as good as the previous two.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a solid conclusion to the trilogy with a very strong and rewarding third act, some fun action scenes and again terrific special effects, but the film is not as good as the previous two entries owing to its overlong runtime and way too many characters and storylines leading to a needlessly complicated movie.

My Rating – 3.5

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a 2006 fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp. It is a very good, strong sequel.

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There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.

I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Movie Review

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Critics pinpoint the plot as very weak here, but I disagree. Certainly it takes the backseat to the action and spectacle, but it is still a solid story which further broadens this world and mythology. I liked its adventurous side, but to me the fantasy elements were the strongest this time around as the titular chest was a superb plot device and those odd-looking animalistic humans are very interesting both visually and tonally as they bring some darkness to this franchise.

Let’s talk about the characters. Jack Sparrow is even more fun and funny in this installment and Johnny Depp once again excels in this role. Some of his facial expressions were priceless. Will continues to be very boring, but at least the inclusion of Bootstrap Bill as his father led to some moving family drama.

Elizabeth was honestly much better this time around as she is much more proactive here and she is even in on some of the action. Keira Knightley is still unlikable in the role, but the character is getting better. James Norrington is quite solid and I liked that he got away with the chest eventually which was an interesting turn of events.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Movie Review

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Tia Dalma is your typical voodoo priestess and nothing new honestly but Davy Jones is absolutely terrific and such a great addition to the cast. I did not see Bill Nighy anywhere owing to seamless special effects work and the character is fun but also serves as a rather compelling villain.

Dead Man’s Chest definitely is filled with too much action and it is more robust than its predecessor, but still I prefer this movie as it is thus more fun and funnier. That action is silly, but also very well executed and consistently entertaining and humorous. The part with the cannibals was boring and overlong honestly, but I liked everything after that. It sets up the sequel so well while being a solid middle entry in the trilogy in its own right.

The highlights were all of the scenes with Davy Jones along with the ending and of course the island sequence was the standout as it was the most entertaining with that fighting on the wheel and chase for the chest being the most memorable. Everything in those scenes is overblown (too much action, humor and too many characters), but it works as it is pleasantly humorous in approach, charming and it doesn’t take itself seriously which was refreshing.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Movie Review

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The film features reliably excellent score and terrific sound effects, deservedly Oscar nominated. The film actually won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects because it was a weaker year for effects, but still it deserved to win as those creatures are blended seamlessly with the real actors and locations. What it lacks in dialogue and story and also emotion, the film more than compensates with effects, action and humor and I have to admit that I prefer it over the original.

Dead Man’s Chest again has overlong runtime, excessive action and too much overblown spectacle, but I honestly prefer this installment over the previous one because it is much more entertaining and much funnier with Jack again being so amusing. The fantasy elements are very good, the film sets up its sequel so well and it has many memorable, fun scenes fueled by seamless special effects and beautiful locations.

My Rating – 4

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Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

Winnie the Pooh is a 2011 animated family comedy film which is the 51st Disney animated feature film. It is such a pleasant, childlike, wonderful flick.

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Oh thank you, Christopher Robin.

And now I don’t think I shall be

hungry again for a good long while.

Oh bother.

Silly old Bear

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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The plot is very simple. The Hundred Acre Wood residents embark on a quest to save their friend Christopher Robin from an imaginary friend. He left a note that he would come back soon as he went to school and our heroes misinterpreted back soon as Backson the monster. Meanwhile, Pooh deals with his hunger issues and Eeyore has lost his tail.

Needless to say, this is a highly simple plot, too simple and lacking in any real conflict whatsoever. It is predictable naturally how it will end and it doesn’t have any real stakes. However, that is mostly a positive thing as thus it led to a much more charming, simple and childlike adventure which should prove awesome for both children and Pooh fans.

I liked the entire first act and of course the ending is simply beautiful in its imagery and sweetness with a phenomenal final dialogue. I really enjoyed the Eeyore/Tigger subplot as their pairing proved to be excellent, funny and sweet. A clever clash of personalities. Pooh’s quest for Honey provided us some excellent and amusing scenes. But what is easily the finest scene in the entire film is the sequence in which everybody is in a pit and it is up to Piglet to save them. The combined stupidity of Piglet and Pooh with Rabbit’s frustration made my day as it was hilarious.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Let’s talk about Winnie the Pooh’s characters. The greatest thing about this film is how all of its characters are basically intact and they felt like their classic counterparts from the sixties and seventies. That was amazing to witness in 2011. It does have too small set of characters and maybe one new character was needed, but its small set led to better development for everyone so I am not complaining all too much about it.

Pooh bear is as cuddly and as lovable as usual. He is still not my favorite character in this franchise, but here he was better than usual actually as many of his lines were immensely funny and he made me laugh how silly and stupid he is. And I loved his quest for honey and how it led to him becoming a better person and realizing that Eeyore’s tail is more important than his meal and he eventually did get a reward for his good heart. This is a great message for kids.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Tigger is as awesome as he always is. He continues to be my favorite character and here he got a pretty good ark for himself. I would have liked to have heard the entire The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers song but the bit that I got was still nice. As I said above, his pairing with Eeyore proved to be a winning streak in terms of the humor and heart as they were wonderful together.

Speaking of Eeyore, he is strong here and his depression is high per usual. That one line in which we learn that he is still not happy after getting his tail back, but he says that the tail is fine was very funny and quite in-character. Piglet is funny and likable and as for Christopher Robin, he is fine, but not present all too much this time around.

Kanga and Roo are as forgettable and as underutilized as usual, I liked the narrator as his narration was mostly excellent and sweet and the post-credits scene where we get to see the real Backson was such a fun, inventive and memorable scene. Owl is even more insufferable than before in this movie as he deliberately stole Eeyore’s tail and that felt excessive, even for him. And of course Rabbit is quite good and very funny when dealing with the never-ending stupidities of Pooh and Piglet.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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Winnie the Pooh features beautiful animation. Yes, most people think that ‘The Princess and the Frog’ is the last traditionally animated Disney film, but that title belongs to this 2011 charmer. I absolutely adored this animation. It may prove too old-fashioned and simplistic to some, but to me that choice was fitting as anything else would be bad for this property. The character design is strong, the use of color (especially yellow) is accomplished and the film has such a fine classical feel to it not just in designs, but also in backgrounds, colors and the movements. The use of the book and its letters was also superb.

The soundtrack is unfortunately the film’s weakest aspect, I have to admit. The Tummy Song is fine, but short and a too typical Pooh song. A Very Important Thing to Do definitely gave me a strong 60s and 70s vibe, but it is again too short and forgettable. However, I did like that all these songs employed the old-fashioned tone to them.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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The Backson Song is pretty solid, but definitely lacking in comparison to Heffalumps and Woozles from the previous Pooh movie in the canon. It’s Gonna Be Great is okay and particularly strong as an emphasis on Tigger’s character, but it felt very repetitive to me.

The Winner Song is very annoying and I really disliked it and how it was repeated for so many times. And I have to say that the only pretty good song in the movie and the only standout one is Everything is Honey. This is a very fun, catchy tune which is accompanied by gorgeous honey and pots imagery and it is the kind of detour that is very successful, entertaining and a superb character moment. And the titular song sung by Zooey Deschanel is solid, but the original was much better.

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Winnie the Pooh Movie Review

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This movie is very short, clocking in at just an hour with the credits included. But even though it was very short, it was sweet and very engaging. The humor is actually stupendous as it made me chuckle quite a number of times and the dialogue is pretty strong. The voice acting is very good across the board with only Christopher Robin’s and in some way Tigger’s voice being not that great, but Jim Cummings is amazing as Pooh. Overall, it is such a wonderfully traditional, very good film which is a great return to an old-fashioned Disney film even if it falls short in comparison to ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’.

Winnie the Pooh is a very short, but sweet flick. This 2011 Disney outing is wonderfully and competently traditional in every sense as both its characters (Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore are the highlights) and animation were pleasantly old-fashioned. This is regrettably the last hand-drawn Disney film and it looks simply beautiful with a wonderful use of color and a great simplistic approach to it. The soundtrack is weak and the plot is overly simple and lacking in any real stakes and conflict, but the film is pleasantly childlike, sweet and charming with a surprisingly strong humor with many funny lines. It is an often overlooked, but very strong Disney entry indeed.

My Rating – 4

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp. It’s a very good start for the series.

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This is the day you will always remember

as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Movie Review

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The story is very simplistic this time around as it follows Jack Sparrow and Will Turner as they rescue Elizabeth Swann from the cursed crew of the titular ship. It is very interesting to witness this first movie as it proved to be so different from the rest of the franchise. I am talking about its story and its approach which is pretty restrained this time around meaning that it is less silly but also less fun. It is better crafted but also not as funny or as entertaining as the future entries would be. I definitely see why the critics prefer this one then.

Let’s talk about the characters and actors. I was amazed to have found out that Johnny Depp was actually nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for this role. They rarely nominate blockbuster performances but he deserved it as here he for the first time created such an iconic character and it’s his most iconic role for sure. Jack Sparrow is a lot of fun, very amusing and frequently even hilarious with his many signature lines (“Savvy?”) as well as facial expressions. And his mannerisms and overall appearance are very well thought out.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Movie Review

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Will Turner was never a particularly interesting character and is actually rather boring. Orlando Bloom doesn’t help the matter either as he gave a fine performance, but is forgettable in the role. As for Elizabeth Swann, she’s a solid female character, but I thoroughly disliked Keira Knightley here. She is a good actress, there is no doubt about it. But her talent is frequently undone by her constant voguing which is highly annoying and she is very unlikable, at times even insufferable, most especially with her pushing her lips out all the time.

Captain Barbossa is such a fun character and the most entertaining persona here after Sparrow. And all of the other characters are perfectly fine, but not all that memorable and for such a long movie, more characters were definitely needed.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Movie Review

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a very long movie. Clocking in at 140 minutes, it definitely felt too long, especially for such a less populated with characters and less story heavy installment. But it was mostly such a fun experience that I didn’t mind it all that much.

Of the scenes, the ending is my favorite. The entire third act is excellent, but when Jack gets on that ship, you can just sense his love for the sea and for piracy and it was a wonderful character movement. The beginning was somewhat slow and some of the middle parts dragged, but I liked the island sequence and of course the fights were excellent with the skeletons and the fantasy mythology being so well utilized.

The humor was good, but not as prevalent as in some previous entries. The dialogue is very good and the film has a phenomenal attention to detail in recreating the 18th century as the way they talk, the costumes and the setting is so well conveyed. And the score is iconic and the visuals are terrific.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Movie Review

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This franchise I would describe as a live-action cartoon meaning that it is a fantasy adventure with a strong use of humor and is also made by Disney. This first installment isn’t as fun as this is only the introduction, but it is more serious and better made than others and thus it succeeds as a pretty good first entry.

The humor is good but not prevalent, the visuals and action are terrific and the entertainment factor is strong in The Curse of the Black Pearl which succeeds as a very strong, though overlong start of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise even if it is low-key in approach and thus less fun but also less silly than the other entries. And this is the movie that gave us that legendary score and introduced us to Jack Sparrow for the first time and Johnny Depp should be commended for creating such an iconic character.

My Rating – 4

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Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 animated romance film which is the 15th Disney animated feature film. It is a classic film which is flawed, but immensely charming.

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Now, here you are-a, the best-a spaghetti in-a town

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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The story here is, like most dog pictures, animated or not, pretty straightforward and simple, but it serves its purpose and is a joy to watch. There is sometimes a lack of goal and the pacing can be slow as it drags at some parts, but the protagonists more than make up for it. They are incredible, both their relationship and their evident chemistry. Their romantic sequences are the highlight of the film.

There is the spaghetti scene which is incredibly romantic and simply charming with a wonderful animation and propelled by an outstanding song. It is inarguably the most famous scene in the whole film and one of the most iconic romantic moments in film history. Everything about that scene from the visuals to the setting to the characters to the music is perfect. The movie just stops there and leaves you overwhelmed with emotion and charm.

But the scene where Tramp shows her the town and the opposing theme of life with humans versus life in the wild is greatly explored here and is such a great look at those very different types of lifestyles. It is a standout scene with charming animation that works both as a plot device and a character study.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady’s interaction with the humans is also very well done. From the moment she arrives, the first night where she does not want to sleep alone up until the changes in her life when the baby arrives, all those things are realistic and done in a great manner. And her intention to save the baby from the rat is very endearing and heartwarming as well as her naming of her owners. The film does dogs really well from the movements to the behavior. It shows why they are so beloved and that is why this film is one of the essential dog pictures for dog owners and why upon more viewings and after having dogs myself, I appreciate it much more than before.

The third act is definitely too bombastic and they did not need to add all that tension when the film’s simplicity was so elegant before. And the rat was ridiculously villainous. But there are some great scenes in there with Jock and Trusty and the finale was beyond sweet.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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The zoo sequence is definitely a detour as it dragged way too much and it has animals that are all dated stereotypes in their representation. The beaver is typical and forgettable and scenes such as this really weigh the movie down in my opinion.

The characters in this movie are mostly well developed, especially the protagonists. Lady is very kind, romantic, caring and of course, as the name suggests, very ladylike and polite which is thanks to her being raised by humans. Tramp is very friendly, cunning and of course mischievous and laid-back, the qualities he earned from living on the streets. Their juxtaposition is typical of romantic comedies but timeless and with the fun twist that they are dogs.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Jock and Trusty are the sidekicks here and their care for Lady and their friendship is very endearing. They can be repetitive and too old-fashioned, but still highly likable. As for the human characters, they serve their purpose, but the dogs are the focus here. But Tony as this Italian guy who befriends Tramp and gives him food is wonderful and I liked him a lot. As for Aunt Sarah, she’s your typical old lady who hates dogs.

Si and Am are the Siamese cats and they are probably the worst part in this movie thanks to their annoying voice and song and very racist overtones. They are clearly meant to be some sort of villains here because the movie has no real villains and that is perfectly fine because it does not need one (and the addition of these two as well as the rat at the end was obviously unnecessary), but those two are awful, especially nowadays because every Asian and of course cat owner could (and should) easily get offended by them.

The animation in Lady and the Tramp is still nowhere near the quality of that of ‘Pinocchio’ or ‘Snow White’, but it is still one of Disney’s best owing to some incredibly beautiful and artistic sequences including a wonderful stylistic opening. It is colorful, but not garish, with great outdoors cinematography as well as excellent character design.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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This is the kind of hand-drawn animation that is honestly timeless in quality, very artistic and highly effervescent in style which accompanies the mood of the film so well. Bella Notte scene and the night sequences are just gorgeous whereas the winter opening seems to be coming from a beautiful postcard. And the CinemaScope widescreen format definitely led to a different looking, authentic film experience.

The score is overly loud and repetitive for my taste, but the songs are solid. What is a Baby/La La Lu is just a plot device and not much of a song although that scene where Lady is intrigued by the newly arrived baby is definitely one of the film’s most wonderful moments.

Peace on Earth is a solid opening for the film and it has such a charming, old-fashioned Christmas spirit to it. The Siamese Cat Song is very annoying. I already criticized this scene a lot so I am not going to repeat myself, but I will just say that the song itself is also highly annoying in tune and with awful voices.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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He’s a Tramp is definitely catchy as well as a great plot device. It is a very amusing scene which is pretty risqué for a children’s film and honestly quite funny too. The tune itself is really well sung by Peggy Lee and quite memorable and hilariously seductive with a good use of barking as backup vocals.

Bella Notte is arguably a classic Disney song, beautifully sung and very romantic. It is the standout scene in the movie which I talked about before, but the song itself is gorgeously sung with such a strong voice and I loved the classic opera feel to it. It is the most traditional of all Disney songs and certainly one of the best from this period. A beautiful ballad.

So the soundtrack is solid but more along the lines of the movies from the same decade, notably ‘Peter Pan’, and nowhere near as close to something like ‘Snow White’ or later Renaissance films. But the songs do not matter here as there is no strong emphasis on them which is evident in their small quantity.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady and the Tramp is weakly paced, but well directed with excellent voice acting and with pretty strong dialogue and although the humor is sometimes repetitive and too innocent, it was mostly solid nonetheless with some amusing moments. The film is simplistic, elegant and the charm is off the roof in this one. It is the kind of movie most suited for dog owners and children and its somewhat limited appeal led to it being one of the better, but not the best Disney films.

Lady and the Tramp is a very flawed, but still immensely charming and wonderfully romantic Disney classic. The pacing is problematic, some scenes felt like detours and the third act employed unnecessary tension and conflict. But the animation is one of Disney’s best with many absolutely gorgeous, even artistic sequences and the soundtrack is pretty solid with He’s a Tramp being amusing and Bella Notte being such a beautiful ballad which accompanies one of the most iconic romantic scenes in film history. In the end, this is a film most suited for dog owners as it is a definitive classic for them owing to its very realistic portrayal of dogs’ movements and behavior and a pretty detailed look into their lives.

My Rating – 4

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Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 is a 2017 animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and with the voices of Steve Carell and Kristen Wig. It is a pretty solid, enjoyable sequel.

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Dance fight!

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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This is on par with ‘Despicable Me 2’ and of course much weaker than the first film. But there is no denying that it is an improvement over 2015’s ‘Minions’ as thankfully this entry was restrained with those guys. The plot itself is your typical zany and cartoony Illumination story but mostly done well.

This is a cartoon movie and not an animated movie meaning that it is loud, action-oriented and very comedic. It is best suited for kids but some jokes definitely favor adults and once again Gru’s mother killed it as she was hilarious in the one scene she got. The various 80s pop songs were also funny as was the villain. And some of the childish humor was also quite good and it made me chuckle, but most of it was typical and forced.

The major problem this movie has is the lack of coherence to it. The film tries too hard to be too many things and the filmmakers should have focused on just one or two things and it would have been a much smoother and well crafted movie. So it has the plot where Gru has to capture Bratt, but also the plot where he and Lucy lost their job. He has to deal with his newly found brother whereas she has to learn how to become a mother. Throw in there the unicorn subplot with Agnes and Edith and the Margo boyfriend subplot and you’ve got a really convoluted, super busy film which should have been expected given that it has such a huge, ever-expanding cast of characters.

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Let’s talk about those characters. First off, our main hero Gru. I found him not as likable or as interesting here as he was in the previous installments to be honest as his role was not the greatest here. But Dru is pretty memorable as his more handsome brother and the relationship between the two is mostly finely done and with some emotional moments. The film is not too emotional which some critics faulted, but I found appropriate this time around.

Lucy got such a typical and cliched storyline for a female character as she needs to become a better mother which was somewhat annoying as she was always better suited as an action heroine. But her scenes with Margo were sweet. Agnes and her pursuit of unicorns was a charming, sweet subplot, but the kids’ roles here were unfortunately shortchanged. Of course the Minions are there, but not too much and they can be quite funny and enjoyable when used sparingly which is exactly what we got here.

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Balthazar Bratt is a surprisingly solid villain. He is a cartoony villain but that fits with the cartoon style of the entire film. Trey Parker did a really good job in this role per usual and I am so glad to hear him in a feature project. Bratt’s obsession with 80s was a cliched choice for today’s adult audiences, but definitely done really well as he was quite funny at times with his dance movements and singing. I also really liked his TV show backstory.

Despicable Me 3 is expectedly really well animated. It looks polished and stylistically speaking it looks great with the interiors and buildings being very detailed. The character design is as strong as usual with the more cartoony, grotesque look being applied to the villain as well and his overall design is top-notch. It isn’t high art, but it succeeds as a really well animated cartoon.

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Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

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Despicable Me 3 has some good action scenes, but most of it was overwhelming. The highlight for me was easily that tower scene which was so well executed and hugely entertaining. The beginning of the movie is not the greatest and the ending is typical so the middle parts were the most entertaining ones this time around.

Despicable Me 3 is a solid sequel which succeeds as a pretty enjoyable, fun cartoon. Most of the plot points were cliched, some characters were shortchanged here and the film is filled with way too many subplots and thus it felt very uneven and convoluted. But the humor is solid, the animation is excellent, the score is good and Balthazar Bratt is such a good, highly amusing villain. It is on par with the previous installment and an improvement over ‘Minions’.

My Rating – 3.5

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