A special early Thanksgiving set of reviews!
This week brings the latest 3D Disney animated feature, "Moana" and the Brad Pitt/Marion Cotillard WW2 spy film "Allied."
Let's start with the good review, Moana.
I really enjoyed this film, I'm biased/tend to enjoy animated films but as usual Disney has created a charming and accessible film.
The film stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Auli'i Cravalho, and has music from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda.
It's directed by John Musker and Roger Clemens who are the directing duo behind "Aladdin", "The Little Mermaid", and "Hercules", and marks their first foray into 3D film.
It's the story of the teenage Moana, who sets out to save her island from a plague decimating the local resources and environment. Along the way she meets the demi-god Maui, played by The Rock.
The music of course is superb, it's insanely catchy. I dare you not to get "You're Welcome" (sung by The Rock) stuck in your head.
The animation and effects are of course fantastic as well.
I've found that the character Maui is very decisive, there's no middle ground. You either love or hate him, I loved him personally.
Overall there's a ton of hype surrounding this film and I think Disney is expecting it to be their next "Frozen." Personally I don't think it's going to hit that level of success, though will do very well.
I also have to compliment the direction Disney Animation is going with their story lines. Disney live action with the constant remakes? Not so much. However I loved that this film had a strong female lead, didn't have a romantic plot, and had cultural diversity with appropriate voice casting.
One criticism: HeiHei the chicken. Please stop with the inane sidekicks who just serve slapstick comedy purposes and to pad the pocketbooks on the merchandising front.
If you need a film to see with your family, to escape from your family with, or just need an uplifting movie, definitely go see this one.
If there's a film you should just ignore, it's "Allied"
There's going to be a huge temptation to see what it's all about due to the personal drama surrounding the two stars. No it is not "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and no there is not that level of chemistry between them.
The film is cookie cutter at best, and another disappointment coming from Robert Zemeckis, who's earlier works I so admire.
If you've seen the trailer to this film you don't even need to bother thinking about seeing it. I hated that so much was given away. If you leave your audience nothing to discover what's the point.
Brad Pitt is wooden and ken doll-ish at best. Marion Cotillard is a bit better but she can't carry a film designed to revolve around two characters alone.
I won't even go into the plot as there are only a few parts that are surprises but even then if you've seen any spy film you can probably guess how it ends up.
Visually it's a sweeping epic, but nothing we haven't seen before.
If I had to describe the film in one word I'd say "stale"
Spend your time this long weekend rewatching Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, or Cast Away. Or just go see Moana.
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.
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