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 – 4

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Sing (2016)

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

Sing Movie Review

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

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When you’ve reached rock bottom,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 4

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The Man Called Flintstone (1966)

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

The Man Called Flintstone Movie Review

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

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

Yeah, they end up out of it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 4

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Mulan (1998)

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

Mulan Movie Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 4

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Moana (2016)

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

Moana Movie Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating – 4

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An American in Paris (1951)

An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

An American in Paris Movie Review

An American in Paris is a 1951 musical film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. It is one of my favorite musicals.

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I’m a concert pianist.

That’s a pretentious way of saying I’m… unemployed at the moment

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

I really love this movie, but even I have to admit that its plot is lacking. Let me elaborate. I usually really dislike love triangles in a film and find them stupid and dull, but here it was surprisingly handled really well and I mean in a comedic and light manner. That was great. But what wasn’t so great is how the film just ended, in an instant. It was abrupt, sort of unrealistic and just disappointing overall.

The first half is all great and I had no complaints there from the storytelling department. But the second half features another very problematic development and that is Jerry going after Milo after breaking up with Lise. That made him unlikable and of course Milo eventually got screwed over. Yes, she approached him aggressively, but he gave her false hope and that made his otherwise very sympathetic character somewhat unlikable. The film was definitely unfair in its treatment of Milo.

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

But even though the plot is so troublesome in a couple of scenes, that is basically the only problem I have with this film as otherwise I find it to be fantastic. Jerry Mulligan is mostly very likable and such a charming man. Lise is quite endearing and the relationship between the two is great and they are lovable together. Adam has his comedic moments and even Henri can be funny at times. And I liked Milo quite a bit and found her to be a very progressive female character for her time.

I found the acting to be pretty good. Oscar Levant is quite good and humorous at times and Nina Foch is very good with Georges Guetary being the weak link here. Leslie Caron is very likable and I honestly think that Gene Kelly should have been nominated for his performance here which is very strong and charismatic. His dancing is out of this world, but he is also very likable and very professional in his acting as well.

An American in Paris features some of the best dance sequences to ever come from Hollywood. Truly sometimes the film reached not only greatness, but pure artistic achievement. It felt like watching musical art in its highest form. Gene Kelly is such a great dancer and some of his movements here were just incredible to behold. But the choreography of these scenes as a whole is gorgeous and the film is just breathtaking technically.

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

As for the songs, they are solid. Some are great, others are forgettable. Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra totally felt like a detour as a song and overall scene, ‘S Wonderful is light and serves its purpose, but the lyrics are mediocre and all of the other songs are mostly forgettable. Not bad, but not great either.

But Embraceable You is pretty solid and Love Is Here to Stay is such a pleasing, fitting song for the most romantic sequence in the film. But of course my favorite is I Got Rhythm. I just love this song. It has fun lyrics, it is immensely catchy and enjoyable plus it is accompanied by the most childlike and effervescent scene in the movie.

An American in Paris naturally looks gorgeous. The entire last segment featuring the titular number was just breathtaking to behold. It was long, but never boring as those dances and choreography are the most memorable thing from the entire film. And I liked that it was a dream sequence, very fitting to it in style.

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

The film is solidly edited and really well directed by Vincente Minnelli, but the highlights are the cinematography and the costumes. The film’s camera angles and shots are perfect and so inspired and rarely has Hollywood seen better costume design than in this movie. Wow, beautiful to watch. It is one of the rare movies that benefit from being in color and truly the Technicolor here is gorgeous. I loved its artistic side not only in music, but in paintings as well. It is a very sensual and great looking film. It is a proof how strong visually can a film be and that essentially it is a visual medium. The production design is just amazing and some of the scenery here was both exceedingly wonderful and highly memorable. And its humor is just fabulous and it frequently made me laugh out loud. It deserved all of its technical awards and I think I am in the minority here, but I honestly think that it deserved to win Best Picture in a very strong year. It is definitely one of my personal favorites from this genre.

Some plot points certainly felt troublesome and the ending is abrupt, but other than that, An American in Paris is a fantastic film. Gene Kelly is so charismatic and likable in his role and Leslie Caron is quite endearing. The film is very romantic and exceedingly charming in almost every scene with a nice dose of excellent humor, but the highlights are its technical aspects – the costumes are some of the best ever put on film, the choreography is amazing, the dancing is phenomenal to behold, some songs are very catchy and the film is beautifully shot and such a great feast for the eyes. Visually dazzling and even artistic, it is definitely one of my favorite musicals.

My Rating – 4.5

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