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To preface, I had read the novel first and loved every bit of it. I remember it tugging on my heartstrings while reading it, and found it to be a very good coming-of-age story. I loved that the female protagonist was a confident character who wasn't written to expect someone to "save her", but rather had her own opinions and had a good head on her shoulders albeit her condition. This was what drew me into the book, and this is what I expected to be getting. The author was given artistic freedom to make decisions about casting, how each section of the book was going to be shown, and I was super hyped.
The day I watched it was during a sleepover at my boyfriend's. I had mentioned that this movie would be the perfect movie to watch together, and that night, he loaded it up on his computer. To avoid spoilers, I'll be the first to admit that when the movie ended, I teared up pretty quickly. As it picked up during the last half of the movie, I found the movie feeling like a comfortable ride on the see-saw. There were times when I could feel emotions were rising, and tears were forming in my eyes. Any minute now, and it'll be a watery mess. Then someone would say something funny, or someone would do something that would calm me down and the tears were gone. It was a pretty smooth teeter-totter of feelings until the movie ended, in which the build-up of teeter-tottering ups and downs would come together and spill over my cheeks. Tissues were needed, but not as many as people made it out to be.
In general, I am not surprised at the reviews that the movie got during it's world-wide release. The novel was a really good foundation to build a movie upon, and I think the plot of the novel was well-translated in the movie; it was ultimately what drove this movie to its success at the box office. That said, unfortunately that's all I can say that the movie did well in. I found that even though the casting was a strong team, some moments felt a little lack-luster. When there were scenes that the novel really delivered in emotion, the movie seemed to lack the punch needed to deliver the scene. It always seemed like I kept asking "If only..." questions when trying to figure out why the movie wasn't just as great as the novel, especially when the author got to work so close with the staff and the producers and directors. "If only there was a little more emotion" or "If only there was a little more oomph, then it would be great." Something seemed like it was suffocating the people who worked on this film, causing them to not push the actors and actresses hard enough to really go all out with their character.
At the end of the day, it's necessary that even though it lacked in punch, it made up with the solid foundation of plot and the way the story was carried through.
Oh yes, Ed Sheeran's All Of The Stars is THE BOMB. I loved it the moment I heard it live during a pre-show livestream on YouTube, and I loved it even more after I watched the movie. It's a phenomenal song, and I'm so glad that he was able to be part of the OST. Unfortunately, the rest of the soundtrack wasn't that great. I would even go as far as to say that music in films are really important to me because it's that one extra thing that I get bothered by hence the 2 1/2 stars.
Prior to watching the movie, I had seen the first HTTYD, as well as a few episodes here and there of the TV show. Both were amazing, and so expectations were high for the sequel. Going in, I was probably most distracted (in a good way) by how similar a cosplayer was for looking like the main male protagonist in HTTYD 2, Hiccup. His name is Liui Aquino. Go search him up! This guy is no joke. He looks so much like Hiccup that it's out of this world.
Anyway, onto the movie. First: I thought the entire movie was centered around Hiccup finding his mother. I THOUGHT THAT WAS IT. But then it wasn't. I was so surprised when I remembered how disappointed I was when the trailers showed the mother. I thought that was supposed to be the twist. Why did they show it so early? Well, now I know why. Next, the ending: Personally, it felt a bit rushed. There was a final battle and then the ending? Wait what? We pushed aside the "Omg he found his mother" twist for this?! It seemed a bit like Michael Bay took hold of the steering wheel for a bit because I sometimes get bored at fight and battle scenes. However, I do give the team credit because I was only a little bored. The battle scene held my attention, and it was indeed a gripping scene that had emotional moments added into the intense action. I think there could have been more diving into deeper aspects of the plot that would have gripped my emotions a bit more, but thankfully this point isn't a big enough point to distract me from the core of this film.
Onto the music by John Powell: Can I just say that no matter what medium, whether it be film or on TV, the HTTYD team has always been spot on with their music?! They just know what to do to make an orchestra really fly through the sky so that the audience can also feel the same sense of freedom. Unsurprisingly, we're talking about a man whose score was nominated for an Academy Award for HTTYD so give the entire soundtrack a listen. Those goosebumps are part of the journey, so enjoy :)
Ooh, we're onto one of the two more recent movies that came out in theatres :D
To preface this one, I watched this movie with a few awesome friends before meeting up with more awesome friends in which we'd then all go out and eat dinner. So it's safe to say that this was a "good movie, good food, good friends" kind of day.
Onto Big Hero 6. Definitely anime-inspired. It was a point that my friends and I had unanimously agreed on. Bot fighting? Hi, Angelic Layer. The city? San Fransokyo. The "yelling of attack name while attacking"? Totally anime-inspired. I'm thinking Madoka, but I'm 100% sure there are many other animes out there that do the same thing. The movie started out pretty well, but as it got to starting to flesh out what this movie was about, it rushed a bit and thus details that would have been helpful were skipped. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to have fleshed out more of the scenes that were going to be flashed back, versus fleshing out how the characters came to a conclusion which caused the flashback/realization. The action and the comedic elements were definitely on point, and the story flowed well, save for the rushed bits. Baymax is by far one of the most developed mascot characters I've seen that weren't just made for the cute and appealing. Lately, we've been engrossed with Minions, and I swear that it never seemed like there was any indication that the Minions were made to get as popular as they are now. Baymax, however, has a foundation to build upon. We know where it came from, what was the reason for its creation, and now we know what lies in store for its future. You can't say the same for the minions (until the Minions movie was announced, that is) and I think this is a very crucial thing for movie staff to pay attention to. Well-developed characters should encompass all characters, not just the main ones. When time and attention has been given to ensure that a character that is normally cute and cuddly has a reason to exist, that it has a history of its own, and a bright future just like the rest, it's much easier to fall in love with it. But I digress.
Big Hero 6 is the first movie I've seen that managed to integrate Japanese anime-inspired elements into a movie aimed for a Western audience while keeping the charm that makes Japanese anime what it is, and I applaud the team behind Big Hero 6 immensely for this. I think people are really starting to realize that it's time for the next generation to carry on what Miyazaki started when he introduced his films to the Western audience. This is a big step (imo) for Western movie animation teams, and I can't wait to see what they do next. Pushing boundaries, collaborating cultures together, and being inspired by eachother is what I hope to continue seeing in the future. Well done, Big Hero 6!
In terms of music, Fall Out Boy's Immortals stands out the most for me. That song had me jamming to it for a week straight at least. It's just too good. The rest of the soundtrack was produced and made by Henry Jackman. Nice to see a new name (from my perspective) among well-known composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer.
Most people would say that it seems like I've left the best for last, but honestly that is entirely up to you whether you think this is the best, or even the worst. Either way, last movie to review. It's freakin' 2:30am in the morning. I have work tomorrow, and it's super late. let's go.
So Interstellar. Watched it Sunday night in theatres with the boyfriend. New release, people are still going out to see it. The movie that is currently freshest in my mind since it's only been a day apart from doing a review on it. In terms of acting, I don't blame Matthew (Cooper) for his accent, not one bit. I think that there is a reason why Nolan casted Matt, and sitting here now, typing this review after watching the movie, I think the casting decision was a good one.
How would one describe Interstellar? From my perspective, "A Journey." is the most accurate way that I would describe this film. Interstellar is a journey in more aspects than one. It's a father's journey through his children's lives via mere minutes of video messages. It's a journey of the senses from the audience's point of view. There were many moments when the music had faded out, the sound had faded out, and all you could hear in that auditorium was silence, and the mutual knowledge that everyone was holding their breath. It's important to note that to approach Interstellar is to approach it the way you approach Inception. Not in the way that the movies are similar in any way, but in the way that upon second, third, fourth viewing of Inception, it's to notice detail. And boy does Nolan really invest his time in detail. This is what Big Hero 6 could have been had they invested more time in the details of the scenes versus relying on flashbacks to support the plot. When you finally get the flashback in Interstellar, everything literally falls in place. During those moments when important aspects regarding contributions to the plot are revealed, there is a very real experience of "seeing" pieces come together. It's almost like there's no need for a flashback, but its purpose is to help guide you through the confusion. These are experiences that you never get a chance to experience until you are placed in a certain situation where certain things have to happen before you finally experience the realization. This is the power of film, and I am glad to say that Nolan definitely exceeded expectations. Inception was huge within my group of friends. We watched it quite a few times together, and every time we'd notice something that we didn't notice before. It's already clear that Interstellar will be the same way.
You'd think that with all these compliments, that would automatically indicate that I loved this movie for all the reasons stated above. However, you are incorrect because this is not where my passion lies.
I mentioned this briefly, but that moment when music and film are synonymous with eachother, now that is a beautiful moment to behold. In all three movies that I reviewed, music has always been the part that I pay attention to the most. More than anything, I find music an integral part that ultimately determines whether or not I like the movie. Interstellar was no exception. Ironically though, there's no playlist I can link, nor a selected song that I found to stand out from the rest... because my favourite parts in Interstellar were when the lack of music and sound was used. Whether the sounds had faded out gracefully or abruptly, Interstellar made a choice to incorporate the lack of sound to enhance the addition of music. It is a beauty to behold when an entire group of strangers who happen to be watching the same thing, who all come from different walks of life, can feel a mutual understanding of held breaths at the same time. Silence, in a movie theatre that normally blasts sound at you, is deafening. Silence... is what made Interstellar great.