Movie Review: Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

Reviews1

Monsters vs Aliens (2009)

So I stayed away from this movie for a long, long time, because I thought it had something to do with Monsters Inc and I rather liked that movie, and I wasn’t prepared to let something ruin the sweetness at the time.

Turns out, I needn’t have bothered. Monsters vs Aliens has nothing to do with Monsters Inc. But there are monsters (though I use the term incredibly loosely; they’re kind of adorkable) and aliens (…subjective) and they are definitely fighting over something.

The main character is a young bride who didn’t even make it to her wedding night before things go terrible in her relationship; the party gets crashed in the first handful of minutes in the movie, and her reactions are kind of awesome and absolutely something I would probably do in the situation.

The movie has a little bit of adult humor for those of us who aren’t tiny anymore, while still keeping itself light-hearted and innocent enough for those who are. There are morals, too (morals!) which is something I always like to see touched on. “Don’t change yourself for another,” “You’re good as you are,” “It’s fine being different,” are all very good morals, and there are some other, more subtle ones that harken back to days of old and are a little out of my skill to articulate. Alas.

On the technical side, the graphics and screenplay were pretty impressive, and I really do approve of whoever the scriptwriter was for this. They did a good job. I’m going to have to look up who the voice-actors are too (because, although  I link you to the imdb page, I only read enough of it to confirm it was for the correct movie) because I’m desperately hopeful those people got a bunch of work, after.

Ah, Bob.

–Natasha

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

Advertisements

Movie Review: Bright (2017)

Reviews1

Bright (2017)

Listen, I have great love for all Will Smith buddycop movies. I will watch all of them given the chance. I also have an epic love for fantasy. Combine the pair? Bright wasn’t something I was going to miss.

This movie covers a lot of topics in a short amount of time, and originally, back hearing about it, I thought it was a series. Which would have been awesome on all levels. Alas, that was not to be. Moving on.

Let’s cover issues of racism, speciesism, issues of classism. Let’s cover how the real world doesn’t always match fairytales. How sometimes, you have to tell a lie to cover the truth– because even though the truth is the right thing, no one would believe you. How you have to do the right thing because without the lie, people get hurt. How you have to do the right thing even though it’s hard. How your actions effect people around you; a drop in the water makes a ripple, and that comes back to you, eventually.

How to hold onto your dreams. No matter what.

There are problems in the world. There are sides taken. But sometimes– you have to pick a side, but you don’t have to cast aside who you are for it.

These characters are top-notch and well-developed, with enough realism and eagerness to match up with the world at large. You can really get buried in it. And I would absolutely love about thirty hours in the world of Bright, exploring everything that it is and can be.

I don’t have that, unfortunately. But I do have Bright, and I’m glad I got it. If you’ve Netflix, maybe give it a peek.

–Natasha

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

Movie Review: Logan (2017)

Reviews1

Logan (2017)

I have to admit, when I first heard that Hugh Jackman was preparing to pass the Wolverine mantel on, I was not prepared to hear there was going to be one more Wolverine movie featuring him. I was not prepared for this movie in any way. If I had been, maybe the train bearing that mountain of feels might have missed me, but probably not.

Man, I still can’t talk about this film properly without trying to gush spoilers, so I best make this short and sweet: Logan is about Logan, obviously. Dealing with being remarkably human, in a world where the X-men no longer exist. Dealing with issues people deal with every day, and things I’ve always wanted to know how mutants would handle.

I love everything about it. Even the parts that made me cry. Especially the parts that made me cry. You might like it too, but remember: there are parts that may make you cry.

–Natasha

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

Movie Review: Moana (2016)

Reviews1

Moana (2016)

I cannot help but feel like I’ve already written something about Moana, that I’ve gushed about it somewhere…

But I can’t find it, so clearly I must do it again.

Let’s start with: I was not expecting such an epic Disney princess to emerge last year, which is silly of me, because aren’t all Disney’s princesses epic? (Even the ones who aren’t considered official princesses! Moana is the chieftain’s daughter, after all.)

Moana of Motonui has been chosen by the Ocean to play a very special part in Disney’s film: the Hero. She’s not waiting for a hero to come find her and rescue her, and Moana (the movie) isn’t about that at all. Moana is about Moana rescuing herself. Well, rescuing everyone else– and rescuing herself by proxy. About growing up, and doing the right thing even though the right thing is hard. About being stubborn, and sticking to your guns, and believing in yourself.

So much of this movie is about believing in yourself.

Born the chief’s only child, Moana stands to inherit leadership of her tribe. He’s been training her for that role her whole life. There’s just one little problem: she’d really rather… not stay on land for it. She doesn’t want to. She tries really hard not to not want to, but she doesn’t want to. It works about as well as expected. Which goes over about as well as anybody could have thought it would. Because nobody goes beyond the cove, and nobody truly leaves the island.

The whole thing is set in Ancient Polynesia, and I’m no expert in the culture, the location, the mythology– but I understand the people who crafted the movie and plot went out of their way to learn those things from the people immersed in them. I know that they also collected local talent for the voice acting, which boosts it to an A+ for me.

One of the interesting things was the music. There’s at least one entire song that never got translated to English, which gives the whole thing very much a more realistic feel to it, and I was very proud of that fact. All too often I feel that I’m not invested enough in things, but that one song being beyond me– I don’t know the words, but the words didn’t matter. I didn’t have to know the lyrics to get drawn up in it.

Also “You’re Welcome” is going to haunt me for years.

–Natasha

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

 

Movie Review: The Last Starfighter (1984)

Reviews1

The Last Starfighter (1984)

Sometimes you have to shake the dust off the good ol’ times. You  have to look at your childhood and say, yes, this one.

The Last Starfighter is one of those. I don’t remember the first time I saw this; I was young, impressionable, and enthralled with space movies. It was probably around the first time I saw the Star Wars films, come to think of it, which, uh, wow, that was a time ago. Star Wars is a different post, eventually, when I get around to it.

In the meantime, this film is over thirty years old, and managed to age pretty remarkably well. Okay, sure, the digital graphics are pretty outdated, but it was made thirty years ago, you have to give it a pass. The storyline, though, the character design, the plot? None of it comes off as cheesy, none of it is badly written. The costumes are solid, props are well made, and, well, I just love it, okay? There’s not a lot of I can tell you without absolutely gushing about this movie.

It doesn’t matter that it’s old. It was well done. And if you can get over the fact that some computer-generated graphics are a little jarring after we’ve been spoiled by new-age things so long, I heartily recommend it to you.

It’s not Star Wars. But then, nothing can be Star Wars. The Last Starfighter is just what it says on the tin, and nothing else.

–Natasha

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

Movie Review: The Great Wall (2016)

Reviews1

The Great Wall (2016)

So even adhering to my no-spoilers rule, there is so much I could talk about in this movie that I could vomit words at you for days and still, somehow, find more. I’ll try not to do that. But where to start?

Let’s try with what it says on the tin.

“The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.”

The opening covers, also, how long the wall took to build and asks the question: what were they trying to keep out?

I’m sure there are a lot of mythos about why the Wall was built, and some were true and some possibly weren’t. No one currently alive lived in that time period, so no one can say accurately that any myth or legend is wrong, only improbable.

We do know a lot of people were hunting for black powder at the time the movie is set, and anyone who brought it home would have been set up for life, which is what starts are opening scene: possibly the only white guy in the movie and his cohort are heading for China and dealing with bandits along the way.

And that’s one of the things I love about this movie. Not because it’s got diversity– and let’s be realistic here, a movie set in China about Chinese legends is about Chinese people, so the Chinese people don’t count as part of the diversity for the movie, the non-Chinese people do– no, that’s not it. But the movie deals with very serious, realistic hazards of the time period: bandits, long stretches of limited supplies, and how very dead you can be if you lose your food. Also the hazards of native fauna.

Although native is somewhat subjective, given the movie…

The ‘elite force’ in the movie is a massive army based entirely on the Wall, which I can gleefully tell you without spoiling makes an amazing fortification. That’s part of the reason the wall exists, right? Fortifications. The army is carefully designed and fully functional, and if they existed in that context today, nobody would dare dream of invading China. Or, you know, anywhere else with similar fortifications.

I kind of want to build those fortifications. Between those and the army, they’ll make a mean reference for tabletop campaign.

I think everything the people in this show pull off is within the human limits, given proper training and equipment. And I mean a lot of proper training. Please do not watch this movie and then try it at home. I’m serious. If you want to try some of this, go find proper methods of doing it. Bungee jumping, wall climbing, learn you some martial prowess. And then remember that even this army doesn’t do it without safeguards unless they have no choice.

The graphics for this movie were superb. I know a lot of it was computer generated and much of this likely took place in front of a green screen, but unless you know for sure which is generated and which is animatronics, it’s unlikely you’re going to guess it. I can’t say for sure animatronics are in this movie, but considering the huge comeback they’re making, I also can’t say they aren’t. Terrifyingly everything in this movie looks real enough, and plausible enough, that I should be very suspicious of alternate realities where they went over and filmed this nonsense occurring.

The plot of the movie is good too. It’s not a “hero from another land” — or at least, not in the traditional sense. Sure, he’s great at warfare. Sure, the movie focuses on him. But all movies have to have a lead point of view somehow, even if that’s just you. And it’s unlikely actual traders would have gotten very far, why not send a mercenary who knows how to fight and keep himself alive?

The characters are real, intrinsically human instead of two-dimensional cookie cut-outs. And for William, the POV character? His redemption arc is pretty solid.

Bonus for those of you who get twitchy? No romantic subplot!

–Natasha
Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Reviews1

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

On the list of new age remakes I was leery about, Beauty and the Beast sat pretty high. It wasn’t the most special of my Disney Princess phase as a child, but it was important— and it colored much of me as an adult, up to and including my ‘objects have personality’ obsession.

Disney covered a lot of my formative years, alright?

But I probably shouldn’t have been the least bit apprehensive. The remake was amazing. They did some minor changes, rearranging the song layout and adding and removing some of them to better fit the video. Other minor issues were done, such as with the town, trying to add more impact to why Belle was such an outcast, I suppose. It did well.

Keeping with my No Spoilers, I can’t detail to you a bunch of why I liked this movie. However, you might have heard that they changed the Dress. The dress I can talk about, because it’s been all over the internet, and it’s gotten a lot of flack. But honestly, the new movie’s dress is gorgeous. Simple pictures cannot do it justice, and it feels more like Belle to wear something like this than the traditional ballgown from the animated version. It’s covered in real gold leaf; it’s not simply yellow. I recommend watching it in high definition on the big screen, but if you have to wait until it’s out on disk, HD is probably a must.

Disney says that they’re going to do some more remakes, and I heard the rumor that the next one is Mulan. With Mulan being my favorite, I confess to being worried about it– but Beauty and the Beast has alleviated some of my fears.

–Natasha

Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee