Disney

Zootopia Review

Zootopia tells the story of a young bunny who wants to become the first rabbit cop in the history, in a world where anthropomorphic animals are split into two categories, predators and prey, who have now seemingly resolved their issues and live united.

Ginnifer Goodwin voices, excellently if I may say, the lead character, Judy Hopps, the optimistic, big planner, good Samaritan bunny. Jason Bateman plays the voice of a sly fox, called Nick Wilde, who is a bit of a wildcard and sort of lives on the edge in terms of illegal activities. Bateman is good in the role, but I wasn’t convinced he was the best fit for the role, or the way he went about the role was the best. Nevertheless, I enjoyed his performance, since I quite like him as an actor in general. A few other notable performances are Idris Elba and J.K Simmons, who have very distinct voices and styles and especially the former, who is definitely a great voice actor (confirmed after seeing The Jungle Book).

On the story side of things. This movie hits all the right notes, there might be a bit too much exposition and stating the obvious scenes, but I shouldn’t complain too much about that, as the movie is meant for kids as well as adults. However, the narrative unfolds in a very interesting and thought provoking manner. The best aspect of the movie has to be the sort of detective/neo-noir vibe that it gives off. It’s astounding the way its integrated in the story and should make for a few jump scares for the younger generations. Moreover, there are so many things that the film has to say about the world we live in, and so many well written real world parallels, it gets you thinking throughout.

This movie is one of the most thought provoking animations you will ever see. Can’t wait to see it again.

8.5/10

Advertisements

The Jungle Book Review

The Jungle Book is a live-adaptation of the story written by Rudyard Kipling more than a 100 years ago and shouldn’t really need any introduction, yet for those that have been living under a rock for all their life, here it goes. The jungle book tells the story of a young boy, Mowgli, who lives in the jungle and is being raised by wolves who are teaching him, how to be a wolf and not a man.

Neel Sethi, who portrays Mowgli, is basically the only non-CG creature that appears in the movie (at least for the most part, even he can’t escape the claws of CGI in some intense moments). The young actor does an admirable job in the lead of this movie and never looks out of place, especially considering that nothing was shot on location and mostly everything he interacts with doesn’t exist in more than a puppeteering form when shooting the scenes. For those that have watched the original 1967 animation, they will be feel very familiar with the character as the performance by Sethi is “cartoonish” and spot on.

The voice acting in the movie is spectacular, all the casting choices for all the actors taking the lead roles nailed it. Bill Murray as Baloo, is as funny as he has ever been and he really is the soul of the movie. Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera is also exceptional, bringing that wisdom to the character. However, my personal favourite has to be Idris Elba as Shere Khan, who gives a scintillating voice acting performance; he is haunting, intimidating and everything you’d want from a terrifying villain.

As mentioned, this movie was completely shot in a studio, never on location. It is almost a hundred percent computer generated images, and still, somehow nothing ever looks fake or unrealistic. The animals look spectacular and the jungle looks more alive than ever. Credit has to go to Jon Favreau, whose direction has really taken this movie to another level. He really gets the what it takes to make a huge blockbuster. He has recreated the jungle book with his own ideas imprinted, changing a few things, but keeping the essence of the story intact and achieving the emotional ups and downs in Mowgli’s journey and the interchanging feelings extremely well with his filmmaking style.

A brilliant movie in its own right, but also as a recreation of a classic Disney animation. Credit to the animators and visual FX people for a spectacular and jaw dropping job.

8.5/10

Obi Wan standalone film in the works

Ever since Disney took over the star wars universe, fans have been screaming for all sorts of standalone Star Wars movies to be made. One at the top of the list that seemed to be overlooked despite the big interest, was an Obi Wan movie starring Ewan McGregor. Well it looks like Disney have been listening and they’ve already agreed to it with the Scottish actor.

Disney have shown clear signs of intend and have been quoted as saying “We are happy to be bringing on Ewan McGregor to the Disney family and we hope that we can please the fans with another epic Star Wars film”.

The news come as a bit of a surprise to fans and McGregor himself, who was open to the possibility since the beginning. He checked on his Twitter and Instagram page to let his followers know the news and his enthusiasm in this new exciting project.ewan on star warsWe are looking forward to seeing Master Kenobi on the big screen once again. Until then, may the force be with you.

Inside Out Review

This is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year.  However for some obscure reason my hometown cinema decided to release it on the 4th of September.  You can imagine how hyped me and my friends were going in; after all this was a long overdue viewing.

Inside Out really has a mind-blowing and in some ways oddly accurate take on how human emotions work together inside a person’s brain in order to act according to their surroundings.  It was very easy to tell early on, only in the first couple of minutes, that this was going to be at the very least a good film.  The premise of the movie is all one needs in order to get interested, add a great opening music score by Michael Giacchino and everyone is raring to go.

Every member of the voice-over, was casted absolutely spot on and they did a tremendous job. Special mention has to be given to Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith and Mindy Kaling who provided the voices for the 5 emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Disgust respectively, and more importantly managed to capture and embody with the help of the animations the emotion at hand perfectly.

Pete Docter is probably one of the most pivotal people in the production and development of this movie, and he really can’t be commended enough.  Firstly for carving this great concept in his mind and secondly for achieving greatness in his efforts to make it a reality (or at least a reality on the big screen).  It’s a very absorbing movie that not only shows the different emotions in action and focuses on their importance, but also manages to get those emotions running in the audience.

Combining a fast paced adventure comedy with some serious messages and life lessons to be learned seemed to work with Pixar and Toy Story for the past 20 years, it seems like they did just that without recycling the same old material.

8.5/10

Tomorrowland-Review

Tomorrowland is more than just the name of the movie, it’s an idea, that epitomizes Disney and which a few people set out to pass on to the world through the medium of film-making.  Director Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles, Ratatouille), is at the forefront of this project and once again manages to leave the audience gasping for air by taking us on a magical ride, beautifully filmed and visually stunning throughout.  However the music score is a bit of let-down, it’s not by any means awful but it’s reminiscence of animated films or kids’ movies rather than that of a movie of epic proportions.

George Clooney and Britt Robertson have a very good chemistry on screen and their energetic and dynamic performances are infectious.  Nevertheless it is young Raffey Cassidy who steals the show with her charming portrayal of a peculiar character, called Athena.

Tomorrowland is first and foremost innovative, it’s a story filled with humor and excitement.  It’s something we haven’t experienced 10 times already, and the ideas that it brings to the table hold up very strong, well at least until the last 30 minutes of the movie when that plot gets derailed.  The ending is a bit forced and doesn’t suit the rest of the film.  The people at the helm get so caught up in delivering one message to the world loud and clear, that they throw everything that was good, out the window, and leave it exposed to gaping plot holes and unanswered questions.

Disney delivers another grand journey and even though the destination is mediocre, it’s an enjoyable ride.

7/10