Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range Movie Review

Home on the Range is a 2004 animated musical western comedy film which is the 45th Disney animated feature film and one of their weakest.

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Call me crazy, but I think these cows got it in for me!

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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This is one of those films that are perfect for kids and I could see myself loving it as a child. I do think that kids should see it regardless what adults think and yes, adults are harsh to it. A bit too harsh if you ask me. Yes, it is one of the worst films to come from Disney Animation Studios, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad as even the weakest Disney flicks are passable and okay as is the case with this one too.

The film is a comedy for sure and it is a musical owing to an abundance of songs, but more importantly it is a western film and that is rare for animation which is why I loved those elements here. ‘Spirit’ from DreamWorks is certainly an infinitely better western film, but this one manages to recreate the 1890s period really well thanks to solid imagery and good southern accents.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The plot itself certainly takes the backseat to all of the action which is a big problem but it has its moments such as a memorable villain, somewhat well executed last chase and a wonderful ending that is emotionally resonant and sweet. But yes, the film is way too short in its running time to be having this much action in it.

Home on the Range features solid characters in my opinion. Not the greatest, but not bad either. I really liked the dynamic between the three cows and they serve as solid protagonists. Grace is somewhat typical, but Mrs. Caloway is charming and Maggie is quite good, though over-the-top at times. The relationship between the two is the strongest in the film and the casting of Judi Dench and Roseanne Barr certainly helped the movie a lot as they’re great.

Buck is annoying, I have to say. He is one of those sidekicks that only kids could like and to the rest of us, he is actually a waste of time here. Lucky Jack also wasn’t all that memorable and those two henchmen had some good moments, but were ultimately 101 Disney henchmen a bit too much. But I have to say that I really like Alameda Slim. He is a good mix of competent and goofy villain and I loved his singing and that it was used as a weapon. That needed to happen at some point in all these Disney musicals.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range has one of the worst animations ever for Disney. I really did not care for it and it brought the whole movie down significantly. It does have some good details and, as I said, the period is recreated rather well, but the only standout scene is the villain song and the rest are forgettable and actually kind of cheap. Not only does the whole movie look too garish in its colors, but also quite unappealing in its characters as their angular designs are rather off-putting. That is something that ‘Hercules’ did well, but this one fails in my opinion.

Easily the standout aspect of the entire film is its soundtrack and the only truly good thing about it. I really liked it and these songs are very underrated in my opinion as they are not only a lot of fun, but refreshingly different in their country genre and fitting to the tone and setting of the film.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The titular opening number is actually incredibly entertaining and a good opening for a western film, very fitting to its style and I always say that I love when these films pay attention to its time period and setting which this one did tremendously. Will the Sun Ever Shine Again is very much the same case as with No Way Out from ‘Brother Bear’. It is just not needed as we can see the emotions ourselves and we don’t need the song to spell it out for us. Certainly the weakest song here.

Little Patch of Heaven is so good. Again very fitting in style, so well sung and with fine and charming descriptive lyrics, it succeeds as a very endearing and catchy country song and a very good theme for the entire film. Of course the highlight is Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo. I love this song so much and it is one of the best from Disney’s Second Dark Age. As I said above, it is a very effective scene for our villain and the greatest moment in the entire film, but I just love yodeling so I naturally loved this song as well. Again fitting to the film, it has good lyrics and the tune is just so damn catchy and the visuals are so psychedelic that you gotta love it.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range is definitely too short and actually not all that engaging for that short a running time which is a big problem. The direction is quite weak but at least the performances are good. The dialogue is nothing to write home about too. In the end, it is in my opinion the ‘Oliver & Company’ from the 2000s – a Disney flick which is fun and with a great soundtrack, but so weak in almost every other way that it’s one of the company’s worst movies.

Home on the Range is definitely one of Disney’s weakest films owing to a standard plot, way too much action for its short running time, forgettable supporting characters and garish animation with unappealing character designs. But it is still not a bad movie as it is very good for kids owing to its cartoony and goofy approach, it has good performances and fine protagonists plus its country soundtrack is a lot of fun and quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 3

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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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Ballerina (2016)

Ballerina Movie Review

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Ballerina Movie Review

Ballerina is a 2016 animated musical film. It is a solid, but deeply flawed and ultimately quite disappointing film.

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I will take you to this dance school

and you will become the greatest dancer ever!

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Ballerina Movie Review

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A poor orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and eventually achieves her dream and beats the other girl and dances in front of the crowd. Very clichéd stuff and actually this is one of the most clichéd animated films in recent memory. And also the most predictable as I knew everything that would happen in each and every one of its plot points. This story is well told, but in an overly familiar manner and thus ruining the potential to become truly meaningful and touching.

The characters are also pretty typical. Felicie is such an annoying protagonist and I just did not care for her. Odette is much better and much more likable. Victor I disliked at first, but he grew on me later on. His sidekick friend can be pretty funny here. Of course Camille is typical and especially her mother is awfully clichéd as this over-the-top villain.

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Ballerina Movie Review

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The voice acting is one of the worst things about Ballerina, quite mediocre. I guess some are fine here such as Dane DeHaan, but others such as Elle Fanning are very weak, uninspired and just the voices themselves were overly modern. The entire movie suffers from being too hip where it should have been more traditional to go in line with its time period.

Ballerina is definitely very well animated and its animation is certainly the best aspect here. I liked the characters, but the interiors and especially the nature and the city were all gorgeously animated. The dance movements are also fine and of course I loved those aerial scenes. The film does look really great.

I also liked its score. It is too modern, but still pretty solid. It does sound and look good, but I just wish that the dialogue wasn’t as uninspired and as simplistic as it turned out to be. Some of the lines spoken here were awfully corny. But the humor is actually pretty solid as the second half has its funny moments.

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Ballerina Movie Review

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This is a Canadian-French co-production and, just like ‘The Little Prince’ from the year prior, it was done in English with their voice talent. I disliked that so much here as the film revolves around Paris and thus French would have suited it much better and the film would have been infinitely better had it been in French. But besides from that, it is a solid film. I gave it a hard time for its immense clichés and somewhat typical characters, but still some of those characters are very likable and the film is very entertaining and it definitely won me over near the end. It could be quite charming when it wanted to be and some scenes are just very beautiful, not to mention gorgeously animated. Had the script been better, it easily could have been great, but this way, it ended up being just solid.

Ballerina has some likable characters, but others are overly typical. The plot is beyond clichéd and predictable, but the film is entertaining and charming to watch. The voice acting is pretty mediocre, but the score is good and the animation is frequently gorgeous. In the end, it is a film that is perfectly solid, but just never as good as it could have been.

My Rating – 3.5

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Sister Act (1992)

Sister Act Movie Review

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Sister Act Movie Review

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

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What am I gonna do here?

I’m gonna go crazy!

There’s nothing but a lot of white women

dressed as nuns! What am I gonna do here?

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Sister Act Movie Review

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

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Sister Act Movie Review

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

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Sister Act Movie Review

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

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

My Rating – 4

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Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain Movie Review

Singin’ in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy film directed by and starring Gene Kelly along with Debbie Reynolds. It is one of the best musical as well as comedy films ever made.

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“What’s wrong with the way I talk?

What’s the big idea?

Am I dumb or something?”

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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It offers a satire on the late 1920s film industry and how the arrival of sound changed the Hollywood landscape. I love this story. It was such an important transitional period for the film industry and here it was showcased beautifully. I loved its various homages to the classic musicals of the late 1920s and 1930s and the whole film serves wonderfully as a film history lesson, but done in a comedic manner which was great and such an approach fits this material so well.

The characters are so likable. Both Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden are heartwarming and sympathetic and I loved their romance. Cosmo was to me the only a bit annoying character here, but even he got some fun and charming moments. But of course Lina Lamont takes the cake for being the most memorable character and the overall finest aspect of the film. Jean Hagen is over-the-top and theatrical, but that fits this role like a glove and she turned out to be incredibly funny. Debbie Reynolds is very charming and of course Gene Kelly is great not only in his dancing and singing, but in his performance as well as he is so inherently likable and charismatic. And the fact that he directed the film as well just goes to show how much talent he possessed.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain is a glorious musical filled with unforgettable technical aspects from the costumes which are actually some of the best ever put on film to the imagery which is highly memorable and sometimes even unforgettable. That titular sequence is one for the ages, original and charming. But the entire musical piece near the end when they filmed the film is so well done and actually sometimes incredibly authentic and beautiful. The colors are vivid and the musical sequences are perfectly constructed with of course very professional dancing in it.

Let’s talk about the songs. All I Do Is Dream of You is sweetly romantic and Make ’em Laugh isn’t the best scene, but it serves its purpose and the song itself is quite catchy. Should I? and Beautiful Girl are solid, but Moses Supposes was a bit too goofy and childish in my opinion. Good Morning is so inherently catchy with infectious energy in it and the entire scene is so charming.  Would You is also quite sweet and a great scene. But of course Singin’ in the Rain is a classic song. The entire sequence is beautiful and authentic, featuring probably the best and most romantic use of rain ever, but the lyrics are sweet, Gene Kelly is absolutely superb here and the song is both beautiful and romantic.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Obviously Singin’ in the Rain is a great musical. However, I do think that the film should be remembered and cherished more for its laughs than the songs. Do not get me wrong, it surely is one of the best musicals ever made, but it is to me just as much one of the best comedies of all time as the film is just so funny throughout its whole running time.

Lina is hilarious and the highlight is the microphone sequence. Perfectly constructed, this scene is consistently entertaining and hysterical from beginning to end. Really, this is comedy gold and a great proof of how some comedies from this period are funny to this day. It is one of the funniest films I’ve seen recently for sure. Another classic was the theater scene when they played their finished product for the test audience and to me it was a perfect parody of the poor sound quality of early sound films, so truthful.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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The film is great because it doesn’t sacrifice one for the other as it succeeds both in the musical and in the humor department. The tone is consistent and the transitions are swift and professional. The movie is also deftly edited and never prolonged or rushed. It lasts for just the right amount of running time and is always riveting to watch. Such a classic.

Funny and romantic, grand and smart, Singin’ in the Rain has it all and it is not only one of the best musicals ever made with many classic and unforgettable songs accompanied by great imagery and all around superb scenes, but it’s also one of the best comedies as it is consistently funny with a couple of scenes that are comedy gold, so perfectly constructed and absolutely hilarious. It is such a great satire on early sound films and it serves as a great and funny film history lesson. The film is also a visual marvel to behold leading to an undisputed classic for the ages.

My Rating – 5

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Funny Face (1957)

Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Funny Face Movie Review

Funny Face is a 1957 musical romantic comedy film directed by Stanely Donen and starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. It is not the greatest movie.

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Let’s give ’em the old pizazz!

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The plot is so predictable and familiar. Astaire’s character provides a modeling career for Audrey’ character who is a highly intellectual bookworm. She turns into a star and the two end up together. Standard stuff. But what is even more frustrating is the 30-year age gap between these two stars and that was quite uncomfortable to watch.

They both gave good performances. Fred Astaire is solid in the role, but to me Audrey Hepburn totally trumped him here and actually gave one of her career best performances. And it is a shame that the movie cannot match her talent whatsoever. The other characters are rare, but somewhat memorable. Maggie is really funny.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So Funny Face fails as a romantic comedy because these two do not have good chemistry and their age gap is creepy. I never bought them as a couple and I actually hated them as a couple. And that is never a good sign. I guess it has some romantic scenes and some funny scenes, but they are not enough to compensate for the overall lack of bigger laughs and more genuine, better written romance.
Funny Face is also a musical and it fails in that department as well. Think Pink! is a lot of fun, Bonjour Paris! is so typical, but it looks great and Funny Face is solid. All of the other songs are either forgettable, typical or bland. But the biggest problem here is that the songs just do not have anything to do with the plot itself. Some do, but most act as unfortunate, overlong and even boring detours and they needlessly occupy a very high amoung of screen time.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So I do not hate this movie as it has its genuinely good scenes, but most of it is so predictable and typical that it wasn’t a very entertaining experience. The dancing is great, the choreography is excellent and the film is well made, but that just wasn’t enough to overcome such dull plot and characters. The Technicolor here is absolutely gorgeous and one of the finest that I have ever seen. The costumes are amazing, the use of color is brilliant and the film looks so spectacular that it’s a shame that the material is so weak.
It is a total shame that such gorgeous Technicolor, costumes and great effort went to the production of Funny Face, a movie that is so dull and weak in characters and plot. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful and so good in the lead role, but the age gap between her and Fred Astaire is too enormous and frankly uncomfortable and I never bought their romance. The movie fails as a romantic comedy because it is so clichéd and rarely truly romantic and funny plus it also fails as a musical for the songs for the most part do not have anything to do with the plot and are basically detours and filler material.

My Rating – 3

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Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

Saturday Night Fever Movie Review

Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 musical drama film directed by John Badham and starring John Travolta. It is one of the year’s finest films.

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There’s ways of killing yourself without killing yourself.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

What surprised me about this film is the script. Yes, it does revolve a lot around the disco club and it follows preparations for and the eventual disco competition, but it is also so much more than that. It is at its core a drama film much more so than a musical.

Tony Manero is such a great protagonist, a realistic man from this period. His frustrations with his family as well as friends are so well explored and you definitely feel sorry for him. The film is very emotional and some of his scenes are great such as the penultimate and very moving scene when he drives around the city.

The parent’s favoritism of one child is so well explored and in his brother’s story, you also witness the mother’s refusal to accept his decision to leave priesthood. It is a raw, honest and still relevant portrayal of the parents’ unwillingness to accept their children for who they are and to accept their different life decisions.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

In Stephanie, you’ve got an exploration of pretentiousness and I really liked the relationship between the two plus it ended on a very heartwarming note. Annette as this deeply insecure girl is another strong character. And of course Bobby is a tragic character and especially evocative of this time period when abortion and promiscuity was at the highest level.

John Travolta gave quite possibly his career best performance here and certainly deserved his Oscar nomination. He surprised me with his performance here as he is charismatic and he sold both his dancing as well as his emotional scenes. John Badham’s direction is very good and the film is so well shot with the disco sequences being the immersive highlights. It is also well paced, but I myself didn’t like the first half as much as the second one as it definitely was inferior and more familiar in story. And the protagonist was fairly annoying and typical at first.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

Saturday Night Fever also succeeds as a strong musical owing mostly to its killer soundtrack. This soundtrack is so great that it is in my opinion one of the finest in film history despite it being not original as all of the songs were released prior to the film’s release. But it uses some of the best disco songs and thus it becomes essential for every fan of this genre.

Most of the major hits from Bee Gees are used here. Stayin’ Alive was a perfect choice to open the movie and that opening sequence is highly memorable and it instantly hooks you in the story and its main character. How Deep Is Your Love is also great, If I Can’t Have You is used at just the right time in the story and matching its scene fittingly and the major highlight is Night Fever as it provides the most eclectic and fun scenes in the movie.

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Saturday Night Fever Movie Review………………………………………………………

The soundtrack is great, but the songs are utilized superbly within the story and the cinematography is so good that it transports you wonderfully to its time period and setting. The disco scenes are so beautifully shot with some gorgeous shots and imagery. It has a great attention to detail from the songs to the clothes and it is a quintessential seventies movie when it comes to it being representative of its period and I loved it for that.

Saturday Night Fever is a stupendous movie. Thanks to its terrific attention to detail, great cinematography and a killer soundtrack filled with great disco hits, it succeeds as a strong musical. However, it is in the drama department where the film shines through as its characters are very strong and their issues are so well explored. From promiscuity and abortion to frustration with your current life to the parents’ selfish expectations for their children, this is one surprisingly thoughtful and clever script. Couple that with its many highly emotional scenes and you’ve got one of the best films from this period.

My Rating – 4.5

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 musical romance film directed by Bill Condon and produced by Disney. It stars Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Dan Stevens.

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My dear Belle, you’re so ahead of your time.

This is a small village, and it’s small-minded, as well.

But small also means safe.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

This 2017 version is a remake of the 1991 classic Disney animated film which is regularly cited as one of the best animated movies ever made. So naturally this adaptation was a risky venture and some may say even unnecessary. However, the end result is quite good so to me it was worth it. I liked most of the things and I truly hated just a couple of aspects so I ended up liking the film overall despite it being naturally inferior to its predecessor.

The plot isn’t as rehashed as everyone has been saying. Definitely some scenes are just way too repeated, but because those are classic scenes, you basically couldn’t do it any other way. So I am here only going to talk about those different plot points as we all know the overall story from the original film.

The beginning was a nice idea as it showed us how the prince was turned into a beast. However, they didn’t do it in the best way possible and the scene felt too safe and tame as is the whole flick, but more on that later. I have to say that I almost disliked the first act of the movie as it was mostly just repeated from the original with nothing new added to the table.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

What I liked is that we got too hear the backstory for the Beast, but the highlight was Belle’s backstory. That entire Paris sequence was beautifully conceived and executed. It was emotional and a perfect way to both progress their relationship and reveal to Belle what happened to her mother. That explanation was definitely good, but more often than not, I actually really disliked the film’s talkative, explanatory approach as they had the need to spoon-feed to their audience literally everything (how the two learned how to dance for example) and thus they lost the simplicity and sophistication of this tale and the original movie.

How Maurice got blamed and proclaimed a madman was changed and actually for the better as it was much more believable. The same goes for Agathe as I really liked her mysterious presence throughout the whole film. And the objects turning into anthropomorphic state was another good idea well executed. Overall, I liked these changes, but they were too minor and I would have liked to have seen more sophisticated additions and themes.

The characters are great. Belle is as great as before and the same goes for Gaston who is even funnier and more memorable here. Sometimes the feminist approach with Belle was too on-the-nose, but she was mostly too likable to dismiss. Beast to me was the only truly weaker character as I thought he was too timid and his design was thoroughly unappealing to me personally. Quite poor CGI there. But I have to say that the various romantic scenes that they added for the two were great and they helped strengthen their relationship even more.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Maurice is different than in the original film, but still quite good and likable. LeFou being gay is an interesting and fitting choice, but it backfired as they didn’t do anything with it. They raised the roof for him being the first gay Disney character and I thought that those elements here were too much played for laughs and ultimately disappointing. But I liked his relationship with Gaston and how he eventually turned to the good side, that was great.

Lumiere and Cogsworth and solid and they provide some quite good laughs, Mrs. Potts is also solid albeit infinitely inferior to the original version and Madame de Garderobe and Maestro Cadenza were good new additions.

The acting in Beauty and the Beast is superb. The casting is top-notch as everyone looks the part, even Dan Stevens who is too physically unappealing for the prince, but he was like that in the original too and he gave a good performance. I love Emma Watson, I always have and I am glad that her career is as strong as ever nowadays. To me she was weaker at first, but as the film progressed, she became much more confident and ended up being great in the role. She blended in this movie beautifully as she was just born to play this role. She became Belle and I adored her.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

But Luke Evans is great as well. He managed to bring both the comedic and the serious to the role and he both looked the part and played it superbly. All of the other actors and actresses did a very good job with the exception of Ewan McGregor whose French accent is just horrible.

Now is the perfect time to talk about the songs. This is the first movie in this live-action adaptation era for Disney that is a true musical and I liked that, but to some extent. Musically speaking, it is infinitely inferior to the original and it just makes you appreciate the 1991 film even more. But I still liked that the songs were there as it was pleasant to experience them again and in live-action treatment.

Belle to me felt somehow too long and Emma Watson’s singing, although good for an actress, is ultimately subpar and I missed Paige O’Hara here. Belle Reprise is never as grandiose as it was before. Be Our Guest is actually pretty solid, although definitely too muted. I never liked Gaston so I didn’t like it here either, but The Mob Song is quite good and serves its purpose well. Something There was pretty good and quite comedic which I liked.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

All of these songs from the original are actually rather fine, but the titular song is just so bad that it thoroughly took me out of the movie. Not only did they change the song and added new instruments, they also slowed it down significantly and the entire sequence was just so poorly filmed that it was totally ruined in my opinion. I was actually quite mad for what they did here.

As for those new songs, How Does a Moment Last Forever is brief and effective and Days in the Sun features mediocre lyrics, but is a solid and somewhat catchy tune, although ultimately too forgettable. Evermore isn’t great, but it is perfectly solid with good lyrics and excellent singing. It is also accompanied by memorable castle imagery. All three of these new songs are far from great, but still turned out better than I expected.

Beauty and the Beast is a visual feast for the eyes and that is where the film shines completely. It becomes such a magical experience and you witness a fairy tale unfold right in front of you. Even the 3D was pretty solid with some good, popping moments. I loved the costumes despite Belle’s iconic dress which felt cheap, but all of the others were great and they transported you to its time period wonderfully. The same goes for the imagery and the special effects, both terrific. The score is also very good and I thought that the pacing is solid. The film is long, but it never felt like it which is a testament to how entertaining it is.

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Review…………………………………………………….

As I said, the Beast didn’t look terrifying and was even scarier in the animated film and that was so disappointing. They should have gone with a much darker and atmospheric tone. But if there is one thing the film does better than the original, it has to be the humor which is so great. I laughed out loud quite a lot as more than a couple of lines were so clever and hilarious. The comic delivery from the actors was excellent. I actually held a smile on my face throughout the whole running time as I was having such a great time and despite its many shortcomings, I think the critics were too harsh to this movie and it is actually quite good, if far from great.

The 2017 Beauty and the Beast is a magical experience despite it being expectedly inferior to the original. Of the songs, the new ones were pretty solid in my opinion with Evermore being the best; both Belle and Be Our Guest were solid, but the titular song was totally ruined with so many incredibly poor choices being made. The characters are great, the casting is top-notch with Luke Evans delivering a strong performance and I adored Emma Watson here. She became Belle which was awesome to witness. The plot changes were minor, but quite good and even though the film should have been darker, I liked its improved humor with many funny lines and the film is a visual feast for the eyes with great costumes and effects. It is ultimately far from great, but still a satisfactory and pleasant remake.

My Rating – 3.5

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Sing (2016)

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

Sing Movie Review

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

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When you’ve reached rock bottom,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 4

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The Man Called Flintstone (1966)

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

The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review

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

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

Yeah, they end up out of it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 4

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