Colossal (2017)

Colossal Movie Review

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Colossal Movie Review

Colossal is a 2017 fantasy thriller film directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. It is one of the year’s most underrated films.

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Hi. She’s the monster; I’m the robot

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Colossal Movie Review

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The film really should not be talked about in detail as the story is so unique that it should be experienced by everyone without spoilers. It is one of the most original films that I have ever seen and its offbeat nature just blew me away. It seemed like something anime would do and seeing it in an American film and realizing that it is not based on anything previously published or released makes all the difference. It is the proof that originality is still possible, even in this day and age.

It juggles its tones so well and it truly is very diverse in terms of the genres. I do not agree that it is a dark comedy, but it does have some of those elements. It also has some drama as well as really well realized horror elements. But it is at its core a fantasy thriller in my opinion. The film starts as a drama, then suddenly becomes a full-on fantasy and it afterwards introduces strong thriller elements with its villain. It is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

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Colossal Movie Review

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Of the highlights, I absolutely adored its ambiguous ending as well as the final fight which was so well thought out and with a great twist. The film has exceptional attention to detail and they truly did the most they could do with this premise. Some of the chases felt unrealistic and to me the film has a plot hole or two (why not call the police or at least retain the villain in some way), but those plot contrivances are to be expected of any crazy and original idea and most of the movie had no such problems.

Dan Stevens is good in the role, but this is the show between Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway. Him I did not buy in this role as his comedic background was not perfect for a very dramatic, serious role. He is still good, just not great. But the character is so well written and memorable. Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, entirely stole the show here and delivered one of her best roles to date in such a phenomenal, really strong and heroic female role.

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Colossal Movie Review

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Colossal is so well made. The direction is good and the script is out of this world. Its attention to detail and its dialogue are both terrific and the movie is actually pretty smart. It actually explores two things really well. One is the nice guy facade which women do know a lot about and the other is a quest to beat alcoholism which is the main theme of the film. Every woman should see this movie in my opinion as its heroine is great and the troubles she faces should prove relatable to them.

The score is forgettable, but I did like its special effects. Humble, yet very well done and the two creatures correspond well to the two characters. I liked their designs quite a bit. The film can be surprisingly funny at times while also being genuinely dark at other times. It is always a riveting ride and truly one of the most underappreciated films of 2017.

With absolutely amazing and actually quite thematically rich script, excellent characters and a superb performance from Anne Hathaway in such an admirably heroic female role, Colossal is simply unlike any movie I’ve seen before. It juggles its tones and different genres so well to create a well thought out and incredibly offbeat story that is not only incredibly entertaining, but also very deep. It is one of the most underrated films of 2017.

My Rating – 4.5

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Big (1988)

Big Movie Review

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Big Movie Review

Big is a 1988 family fantasy comedy film starring Tom Hanks as a boy who makes a wish to be old and he becomes a 30 year old man.

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And I’m three months older than you are, asshole!

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Big Movie Review

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This is a film that has quite a unique and interestingly very original and rarely explored premise. The beginning with the machine is very well executed and memorable. But the middle of the movie is Big’s weakness because it is filled with typical movie tropes that are reminiscent with so many 80s and 90s family films. It also has some very naive scenes that are hard to believe and illogical. And it can get pretty cheesy and familiar. But the film’s third act gets it back on the track with a phenomenal exploration of its central theme – childhood versus adulthood. And her realization and their emotional goodbye is such a warm and heartbreaking scene and also a perfect conclusion to a heartwarming story that seems as if it came right out of a fairy tale. It is so good and effervescent.

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Big Movie Review

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The characterization is pretty good as is of course the acting. Tom Hanks is expectedly superb in the protagonist’s role and he plays Josh Baskin perfectly, always making you remember that the character is in fact a lot younger because he embodies that inherent childlike behavior that is essential for the role. Elizabeth Perkins is wonderful as Susan Lawrence, his love interest. Her performance is very good and the character is surprisingly poignant, realistic and very likable. Her relationship with Josh is very endearing from start to finish and she possesses an inherent charm. The other characters are all quite forgettable, but those two are great and his best friend Paul is a likable and also very realistically depicted kid.

The direction is quite good, but the score is stupendous, very beautiful and moving at times. The dialogue is also quite solid and the editing is mostly good. The film benefits from its offbeat premise and a lot of heart at its core.

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Big Movie Review

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Big should have been funnier and that is my problem with it definitely. It has its charms, but it should have been funnier having in mind it is a comedy above all. And that middle of the film with some boring office sequences and a lot of unnecessary characters with naive behaviors definitely ruined the movie. But this is a children’s movie from the eighties and such problems in the script are expected. And the kid should have been ten instead of thirteen years old because it is much more realistic for him to be younger. However, the movie manages to transcend above those clichés with its very original and incredibly moving ending. And professional acting and endearing characters certainly don’t hurt.

It has its flaws including some cheese factor and some naive sequences, but Big is largely a stupendous family movie with charming characters, great Tom Hanks in the central role, some wonderful themes, heartbreaking ending, nice score, quite offbeat and very well used premise and a lot of heart at its core. As family films from this period go, it definitely is quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 4

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Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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Kiki’s Delivery Service Movie Review

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 fantasy anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is Studio Ghibli’s forth film which is solid, but pretty overrated.

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Flying used to be fun

until I started doing it for a living

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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It follows a young witch in training. She hits her teenage years and moves to a new town where she starts earning money by delivering packages with her broom. She meets a lot of different people and experiences adulthood. It is a coming-of-age flick which should prove awesome for children and most especially little girls, but it is in my opinion too childlike and girly and it doesn’t have the adult appeal that childlike movies such as ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ have.

That is mostly why I didn’t love it. I liked it more upon my second viewing, but I still think it isn’t better than solid. The plot is somewhat non-existent except that it is a coming-of-age story and although it is too slow at times, I mostly liked its casual approach which is the director’s signature direction. He directed the film really well, that’s for sure.

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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Of course Kiki not being able to talk to her cat eventually and losing her flying ability was a metaphor for becoming an adult and losing your innocence and I loved that, a very elegant and heartwarming way to state that transition. The movie is slow, but certainly quite sophisticated and although seemingly too sweet, it does portray many different types of people and some not all that good so it does become more mature at some points, but too rarely.

I’ve had a big problem with its ending. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a film that is leisurely in style and pace and thus its climactic ending felt way out of place and honestly quite ridiculous. It is a typical action-oriented finale that should be reserved for all those stupid family flicks made in USA and seeing Miyazaki resort to that was unfortunate.

Kiki is a good character, though a bit too good natured and somewhat forgettable when put against other strong Ghibli heroines. Jiji’s sarcasm proved to be a lot of fun and again I really liked that only she could talk to him. Their relationship pleasantly reminded me of Lyra and Pan’s relationship in ‘Northern Lights’.

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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Osono is charming and Ursula shared a really great scene with Kiki and I loved her artistic background. As for Tombo, he is your typical Ghibli male love interest, but their relationship was admittedly quite sweet and touching. The voice acting is expectedly very good here.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is as superbly animated as you would come to expect from the caliber of this studio and its famous director. The character designs themselves are good, but it is the backgrounds that prove to be a real treat here. I absolutely loved how gorgeous some of the imagery was here. I always loved seaside towns and this town being European in style was refreshing to see in an anime film. I loved how the town looked and it felt so cozy, but the house interiors, the food, of course the nature and every little detail was beautiful to witness and Ghibli’s early films from eighties and nineties really do give hand-drawn animation a great reputation.

The score is also very good and grandiose and different in its style which I loved. Its opening and closing number was also quite sweet. The film is definitely wonderfully made technically and both the script and the dialogue offer some gems in terms of the scenes. My favorite scenes are Kiki’s discussion about art and flying with Ursula, her first scenes in a new town were all phenomenal and her scenes with Tombo and Jiji were all big winners.

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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So the film is pleasant and charming, but admittedly too slow at times and I honestly thought that the film was way too simplistic and it definitely ended in a very mediocre, frustratingly annoying manner. It is a movie that is perfect for kids and little girls, but it never has that universality to it that other Ghibli classics have. It is the weakest Ghibli outing from the eighties by far and definitely one of its most overrated films. It is solid, don’t get me wrong, but I’d come to expect much greater things from this magnificent studio and this one is certainly way too overrated for my taste.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is expectedly gorgeously and meticulously animated, very well scored, pleasantly leisurely in pace and style with a good metaphor and it is a charming coming-of-age film that is great for children and especially girls, but it isn’t all that appealing to adults, I found its ending annoyingly too climactic and out of place and although the film is definitely sweet and solid, it is far from great and is actually one of Studio Ghibli’s most overrated works.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

The Witches of Eastwick Movie Review

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The Witches of Eastwick Movie Review

The Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 fantasy comedy film directed by George Miller and starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher and Susan Sarandon. It is a solid, funny flick.

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Who are you?

Just your average, horny little devil

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The Witches of Eastwick Movie Review

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It is about a devil who comes to taunt three single women. It is an original film I have to say as I have never seen anything quite like it. It is mostly a comedy with strong fantastical elements, but at its core it is supposed to make you laugh and it did make me laugh a couple of times as its humor is quite strong. Most of the lines spoken by Jack’s character and his behavior and seduction scenes were hilarious.

Yes, this is one of the best performances that he has ever given and certainly his most underrated. All three of these actresses are very strong, but he is easily the standout actor here in my book. Pfeiffer is forgettable and I have never been her fan, but Susan Sarandon is very good and Cher was actually a good actress around this period in time which is crazy. And Veronica Cartwright was overrated and over-the-top here.

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The Witches of Eastwick Movie Review

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I wasn’t so crazy about their characters. Daryl was awesome and the mix of devilish and seductive with flamboyant and eccentric definitely led to a very authentic presence. But the women are not the greatest. They easily fail the Bechdel Test as they never talk about anything other than men and I didn’t mind it much as it is a comedy and that led to many funny scenes, but it was troublesome because the movie somehow presented itself as a feminist picture when in reality it is exactly the opposite.

The Witches of Eastwick is very well directed and it is crazy that this was George Miller’s work as it doesn’t resemble him at all. But he did a nice job with this crazy material. The film is well shot and the special effects are typical 80s effects, but far from terrible.

I loved the first half of the movie as it was sinister in tone and filled with hilarious scene after scene. Except the beginning which was somewhat dull, the whole first half was stellar and very good. However, the movie falls apart after that tennis match between the foursome as the fantasy elements came too late in the game and the battle wasn’t the greatest.

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The Witches of Eastwick Movie Review

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But it mostly fell apart as it was too slow in its pace and it featured way too many music scenes. Those scenes ruined it for me as they significantly slowed the progress of the film and its storyline. It was a wasted potential as the film could have been much better, but ended up being just solid.

The Witches of Eastwick features a crazy, original storyline, many funny scenes, a great, underrated comedic performance from Jack Nicholson and the first half is terrific, but the second half is slow in its pace and much inferior in plot, the movie is somewhat sexist and it never succeeded as a fantasy as much as it did as a comedy flick.

My Rating – 3.5

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Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 monster film starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson among others. It is a pretty solid, entertaining blockbuster.

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This planet doesn’t belong to us.

Ancient species owned this earth long before mankind.

I spent 30 years trying to prove the truth: monsters exist

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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Its story is actually quite solid which I did not expect. It is a remake of the 1933 original, but the time period is changed to 1973 and it is obviously influenced in style by various Vietnam War movies. It can of course never be compared to the classic original, but I never expected it would come close and it is in the end pretty solid and fun in its own right so it is successful in my opinion.

It is fun because it is so adventurous. The plot is typical, but at least present and well executed. I loved the twist with John C. Reilly’s character and I absolutely loved his entire story, so well done and fascinating, not to mention moving. I now have to see 2014’s ‘Godzilla’ because this MonsterVerse piqued my interest to be honest. That is because its end-credits sequence is really well done and intriguing, but the movie stands on its own and isn’t too connected to other things to come which is why this is definitely the first successful movie universe to come after the MCU, at least for now.

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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What I didn’t like about Kong: Skull Island is of course the character development which is so incredibly weak that it hurt the movie so much. I don’t know what is the point of having all these great actors, and surely this ensemble cast is amazing, if you’re not going to utilize on them properly. Only Reilly’s character is well developed and I really liked him with all of the others being so weak.

It is disappointing to see that Brie Larson did not get a better role after her unforgettable performance in ‘Room’. Her character here is very disappointing and forgettable. Jackson’s character is somewhat better, but still a far cry from his other roles. Tom Hiddleston did not get much to do as well and John Goodman only got one good scene. As I said, the characterization is so weak that it was really troublesome to me personally.

That is also because Kong: Skull Island is just way too frenetic in pace and it didn’t have enough time for either of its characters because the storyline is too ambitious and it wanted to check a lot of the boxes and introduce a lot of the creatures. Certainly that made the film very exciting and hugely entertaining, but rushed and the running time should have been longer for sure.

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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I really liked the use of score as the famous songs from the early 70s were very utilized into the whole picture. The film is very well made technically and I absolutely adored its cinematography. I loved the special effects work here, certainly one of the year’s best. Kong himself looked excellent, I loved his fight with Skullcrawler whose role I did not understand as much, but the fight was great and I loved his final reigning scene. All of the creatures look magnificent and are fascinating here, but also have soul and are superbly used in action scenes. The effects here are the kind of effects I love – light and colorful and pleasing to the eye.

Even though it is way too frenetic in its pace and thus the characterization is mediocre and I did not get why they assembled this great ensemble cast if they were not going to utilize them properly, Kong: Skull Island is so incredibly entertaining to watch that it ultimately succeeds as a solid remake. I loved its adventurous tone, the action was great, the creatures were fascinating, the end-credits scene was intriguing and the film looks fantastic owing to amazing special effects.

My Rating – 3.5

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Snow White (1916)

Snow White Movie Review

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Snow White Movie Review

Snow White is a 1916 silent fantasy film starring Marguerite Clark. It is a very good early adaptation of this famous fairy tale.

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If these are pig’s tails,

then that is a pig’s heart

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Snow White Movie Review

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First of all, let’s talk about the elephant in the room and that is of course the fact that this movie influenced Walt Disney and impressed him so much (it was the first movie that he has ever seen) that he was inspired to make his own version. It’s a shame that this film is famous just for being Walt’s vehicle when it is a good movie in its own right.

Comparing the two, I of course loved Disney’s version much more as I just adore that classic film, but it was somewhat disappointing seeing how much he took from this film. The dwarfs mining and meeting Snow White, her cleaning the house and them washing up one of the dwarfs were all the scenes that Walt basically rehashed.

But other than that, it is very much a thing of its own. For example, it has much more characters in it and the entire first third is different. That first third is a major flaw of the movie. I still thought that it was good, but just not as good as the rest of the picture and it made the film feel odd structurally speaking as the action started way too late in its run plus those many characters introduced in the first part serve no purpose later on in the story.

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Snow White Movie Review

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But I still loved how this Snow White was much more faithful to its source material than the usual adaptations and sure enough, we have a poisonous comb here as well as Snow spitting the apple and thus managing to survive, all of the elements from the original fairy tale.

I personally really liked this Snow White as she is charming and likable which is a testament to Marguerite Clark’s performance which is very strong and certainly quite charismatic. The dwarfs themselves are solid, but not as memorable as they should have been and the entire film needed more humor as it is childlike in approach, but never funny which was a problem to me.

Prince meeting her earlier was well realized and he was solid, but the villain is great and it was interesting that we actually got two villains here as the Queen gets the help from Witch Hex who is a very memorable creation. The sequence with pig tails is actually a standout one as it is pretty gross and so well executed technically with excellent effects for its time.

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Snow White Movie Review

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But I would have liked to have seen the Queen die or get some sort of punishment and that overly happy ending was unfortunate. The film is very entertaining, but overly frenetic to the point of being abrupt in approach as some scenes seem to be cut in their progress, but that is because this isn’t a complete version and thus I shouldn’t judge the movie too much for it. As it stands, it never reached greatness, but it was competent and quite good from start to finish and it is ultimately a successful adaptation of this fairy tale.

The 1916 version of Snow White is famous for influencing Walt to make his own classic version and though he clearly took a couple of scenes in its entirety, this film is actually quite different otherwise as it follows the original fairy tale much closer. Even though the first third was problematic, the film is mostly very competently made with a charismatic turn from Marguerite Clark, good villains and a couple of standout scenes leading to a quite successful early adaptation of this famous fairy tale.

My Rating – 4

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a 2008 fantasy superhero film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman. It is a satisfactory, improved sequel.

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We die and the world will be poorer for it

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

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Yes, I have to say that I liked this film much more than I liked its predecessor which was just an okay movie for me, but this one was quite solid although still far from the director’s best works. The reason why I liked it is because it is much lighter and less serious in tone and because it is basically a fantasy film in tone and setting.

It is a fun film which features a bunch of memorable set pieces. The visual effects are more than stellar and I agree with critics that the mix of old and new in their execution is actually quite interesting and pleasing. The score is forgettable, but del Toro’s direction is good and the film is visually dazzling enough to compensate for its many flaws.

One of Hellboy II’s flaws is naturally the character development. The acting is definitely very solid, but the characters are once again highly forgettable and overly abundant. Hellboy himself has some good moments, the rage parts being the best, but I thought that the rest of the characters never really got enough to do and some, such as Jeffrey Tambor’s character, were really shortened this time around.

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

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Hellboy II also features very odd pacing. I found the action scenes overwhelming and I was bored with them and I liked the fantastical parts much more as those were filled with fascinating creatures and highly memorable set pieces. But the first act was dull and the second act had its problems. The third is definitely the best part of the entire film as it is much more entertaining and memorable than the rest of the film.

It is weird but I would say it is almost too much taken from the comics. The style is great, but sometimes both of the films were even too stylish and although some scenes are pleasantly mysterious with great world building, they were offset by too much action in other scenes.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army still has overwhelming action and pretty weak character development, but it is ultimately an improvement over the original with a much more entertaining plot with a good fantasy angle to it and a lot of great set pieces, interesting creatures and great visuals.

My Rating – 3.5

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My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 family fantasy anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of Studio Ghibli’s loveliest offerings.

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Well, I’m not sure,

but I could’ve sworn that I saw

both of the girls up in the treetop, laughing

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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This has to be Ghibli’s most childlike film and that is okay as it is wonderful and so pleasing and gentle that you gotta love it no matter the age. So basically we follow two sisters as they explore the country and the forest while interacting with friendly wood spirits. Yes, this film apparently doesn’t have a clear storyline, but I have to say that I liked it all the more for it.

In real life, rare are sudden conflicts and there are no villains so this film ended up being rather realistic and an original take on an animated film as I cannot think of any other animated flick that did this. It is a wonderful slice of life story for children and their parents and I myself sympathized with the characters and I loved the country setting. Despite not having a clear plot and goal, the film still explores some themes and the most emphasized are those of sibling love, benefits of living in the country and of course the film is as ecological as you’d come to expect from the director. It reminded me pleasantly of my childhood and seeing the two sisters explore the house and the forest is exactly what I did as a kid so it was relatable to me.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. Satsuki and Mei are such wonderful child characters whom I really liked. As with ‘Grave of the Fireflies’, the film showcases realistically and nostalgically the powers of childhood and how children really interact. Everything is a wonder to them, their thirst for exploration is never-ending and they even portrayed realistically how boys and girls do not get along at an early age and how boys are much more shy. Very well done.

Satsuki having  to care for Mei also reminded me of the aforementioned film and it again shows us how responsible the role of an older child really is. Mei is cute and sometimes funny, but also at times annoying. A very grounded in reality four-year-old. I loved Kanta and his shy interactions with Satsuki were very amusing and of course the grandmother is lovable.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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My Neighbor Totoro is a family slice of life film but it is also very much a fantasy flick. Its creatures are so original in design and authentic that they deservedly stood the test of time and are iconic to this day. The dustbunnies are very interesting and the Catbus is such a fantastic creation that is zany in the best way possible. It obviously influenced J. K. Rowling for her Knight Bus. And of course Totoro is such a lovable creature and the mix of cute and large is memorable and he is cute while also being very funny at times.

Hayao Miyazaki directed this film really well and you cannot deny his strong sense of space and time as both the setting and the fifties are very well portrayed here. I just loved everything about this country. The house is quite memorable and of course the forest is beautiful to behold. I loved how we got to see the country jobs and the various amounts of vegetables and fruit shown here can definitely make you hungry.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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Yes, the animation is simply gorgeous as is expected from this magnificent studio. The character design of the humans is very good, but it is the creature design that really makes an impact as it is simple, yet unforgettable. The film is beautiful to look at and again highly advanced for its time as both the water and the light are so realistically portrayed.

As for some of the flaws, sometimes the kids yelled a bit too much for sure and the film can definitely be too simplistic and childish to some. I don’t see how a lot of people can like it. I myself did, but it isn’t for everyone. And even though I really liked the inclusion of their mother’s illness and the third act was more emotional and dark while still ending on a very positive note, I still wished that it was a bit darker and more emotional. I loved the film’s ending for sure, but maybe a more ambiguous ending would have been better.

And I loved the properties of the creatures such as the Catbus flying and Totoro making a tree grow to full size in a matter of minutes, but I still would have liked a bit more explanations and more concise rules for the powers as an adult. Again, that is where being a kid really matters as it leads to a better viewing experience of the film.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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My Neighbor Totoro is very well paced and although it may be too slow for some, I actually loved its languid pace and that meant that you can enjoy the power of the animation much more. The level of detail in this movie is truly staggering. The dialogue is also solid and some lines are quite memorable. And I have to mention its score as it is beautiful per usual but this time containing a song and its theme song is so endearing catchy and ultimately fantastic. The film has a big heart and very much a timeless appeal to it. It is one of the most wonderfully childlike films that I have ever seen and certainly one of Ghibli’s best works.

My Neighbor Totoro is a gentle, leisurely, simple slice of life film that offers you a heartwarming look into the eyes of a child without ever succumbing to clichéd conflicts and villains and thus it led to an original, more realistic take on an animated film. The characters are lovable, the creatures even more so and the animation is as brilliant as you would come to expect from the studio with a painstaking level of detail. It is a beautiful movie that is timeless in quality and it’s one of Studio Ghibli’s best.

My Rating – 4.5

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is a 1977 animated musical fantasy film directed by Richard Williams. It is a pretty trippy movie.

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Is this endless eating all there is to be? Or not to be?

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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This is one of the weirdest animated films that I have ever seen, there is no doubt about it. It is definitely influenced too much by Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and it is infinitely inferior to it in terms of quality, but it is still a pretty good, in my opinion even an underrated flick which surprised me pleasantly.
I could have gone without those live-action sequences and I found the first half to be overly slow and sometimes even dull to be frank. And when it suddenly goes into crazy territory, the shift is abrupt, not subtle at all and it makes you question its direction, pacing and structure which are all rather problematic.
But that second half is so good that it is worth the watch for sure. It has an abundance of either weird or creepy or downright loony characters and that I liked a lot. Yes, it definitely is similar at times to the aforementioned Disney classic, but that movie is obviously the archetype of such stories so that was to be expected. And having in mind that animated films like this are very rare, this one should be appreciated more.

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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The voice acting is good and I really liked those weird characters such as the Camel and King Koo Koo. And of course the Greedy is quite memorable. Each and every one of those imaginative characters was very interesting and a lot of fun. But the main characters Ann and Andy are flat in comparison and immensely boring.
Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is obviously a musical as its title says. And I have mixed feelings about this soundtrack. On the one hand, I liked its Broadway feel a lot, but on the other hand, most songs blend into each other as they are mostly too bland and similar.
I’m No Girl’s Toy is catchy, but somewhat annoying. Rag Dolly is also fine, but way too long as most songs are in this film. Camel’s Mirage has good imagery, but that’s about it. The same goes for I Never Get Enough. Two weak songs, but two great scenes. And all of the other songs are very forgettable and overly abundant. But there is no denying the power of Candy Hearts which is a wonderful song and the only song here that reached Disney quality even though its second half is weaker. I loved its lyrics, it is such a catchy tune and the song is sweet and accompanied by charming imagery.

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Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure Movie Review

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The animation here is phenomenal and one of its highlights for sure. I loved its weird imagery and there are many memorable scenes such as the two aforementioned scenes in the passage above. The character designs are actually rather impressive and the overall animation is quite fluid, inspired and mostly fueling its imaginative action so well.

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure has a very frustrating lack of structure, the first half is too slow and dull and the main characters are bland, but the other characters are quite memorable and the entire second half is so great in its trippy and weird imagery. Some songs are bland, but some such as Candy Hearts are very good. The animation is simply fantastic and that coupled with its weirdness is a good enough reason to see this crazy, underrated flick.

My Rating – 3.5

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Cudotvorni mac (1950)

Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

Cudotvorni mac Movie Review

Cudotvorni mac (The Magic Sword) is a 1950 Yugoslav fantasy film directed by Vojislav Nanovic and starring Rade Markovic. It is such a pleasant, wonderful fairy tale.

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You have a pretty head, boy. Take care of it well

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

The film is based on a Serbian folk tale The Nine Peahens and the Golden Apples while containing elements from Bas Celik as well. I loved Bas Celik as a child, but I wasn’t acquainted with the aforementioned tale prior to watching this movie. But the movie mixed those two really well into a coherent and entertaining whole.

I loved this movie so much and I honestly think that had it been an American film, it would have been a fantasy classic by now. But this way, it unfortunately remains forgotten. It is basically a Serbian version of a Disney flick and needless to say, I loved every second of it. It is good for both children and adults and it is adventurous and fantastical while also being very funny.

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

The characters are quite solid and some very memorable such as the villain Bas Celik. And I loved the witch and the plethora of funny characters in the second half were amusing. As for the acting, it is theatrical for sure. Some of the performances were too over-the-top, but mostly they were fine and that theatrical style suited the period of the movie rather well leading to a realistic sounding as well as looking flick.

I said that it is a Disney film and that’s because I saw elements from ‘Snow White’, ‘The Black Cauldron’ and ‘The Sword in the Stone’. All of these were present, but the film is still original as it mixes the elements from those stories into an authentic mix of its own while also containing many new and fresh ideas such as the talking fish and the villain himself.

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

I loved the beginning and it instantly hooked me in while the ending was a bit too typical for me. The entire middle part was the best with the witch scene being a lot of fun and of course that dining sequence is hilarious. Yes, Cudotvorni mac is such a funny movie. The humor is quite clever and interesting as it means that the film never takes itself too seriously and it pokes fun of its characters and plot points. Some of the lines were so incredibly funny and the movie made me laugh quite a bit which I honestly did not expect.

So The Magic Sword is adventurous and a lot of fun, but it’s also technically superb. Yes, it is a shame that today’s Serbian movies are devoid of fantastical elements as this was an example of how great these folk tales are and how perfect they are for the visual medium of film. It is astonishing how great the film looks and that it was made in 1950 was just incredible to me. Such an admirable effort.

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

The cinematography is excellent and some of the imagery is truly gorgeous as the film is very pleasing and even poetic in its reliance on natural scenery. I loved its attention to detail and the visual effects are pretty good for its time. The costumes are excellent and the score is very good with a couple of songs and dance scenes being very good. It succeeds as a great period piece and the film is also superbly paced and never dull or rushed. And I loved how its dialogue was representative of its time period and filled with archaic language. It truly felt like medieval Serbia and I admired that commitment on the part of the filmmakers. A true underrated classic from the cinema of Serbia and to me it is even one of the best films of 1950 overall.

Cudotvorni mac (The Magic Sword) is basically a Serbian Disney movie and naturally I loved every second of it! Its natural scenery is gorgeous, the film is well paced and the effects are solid, but it is its story which mixes two Slavic folk tales that is a lot of fun. It is adventurous and fantastical while also being rich in detail and incredibly funny thanks to such a great humor with many hilarious lines. It’s such an underrated fantasy flick that really needs to be seen by more people.

My Rating – 4.5

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