Turning Red (2022)

Pixar’s latest is the story of thirteen-year-old Meilin, a Chinese-Canadian girl who discovers that she has the ability (or curse, depending on how you look at it) to turn into a giant red panda whenever she experiences strong emotions.

I thought it was a good, solid outing from Pixar. But it oddly didn’t move me the way the early Pixar stories did, and I can’t say I want to watch it multiple times. Nevertheless, it’s a movie I would recommend on the whole.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Tenet (2020)

Synopsis from Wikipedia: The film follows a CIA agent who learns how to manipulate the flow of time to prevent an attack from the future that threatens to annihilate the present world.

Overall opinion: Interesting concept but somewhat lacking in the execution.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
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Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

The Daniels’ (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) present us with a movie about Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), who is struggling with just about everything – her business, her marriage, her daughter, her father. In the midst of a tax audit, Evelyn finds herself dragged into a very strange multiversal conflict wherein she has to “verse jump” into alternate versions of herself and temporarily acquire the abilities and skills of those versions in order to evade a chaotic antagonist, Jobu Tupaki, who is after Evelyn for reasons unknown and also the agents of Jobu Tupaki.

This movie, while really bizarre in some bits, is an overall solid and entertaining sci-fi action film and deserves to be seen.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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The Missed Opportunity of “The Batman”

Matt Reeves’s version of DC’s caped crusader misses the opportunity to tell not the origin story of Batman, but the origin story of the billionaire behind Batman.

The Bruce Wayne we meet at the start of The Batman is anything but a social butterfly or a competent businessman. He hardly goes out, except on his nightly excursions to watch over the city or meet with Lt. James Gordon and find out where he’s needed. Bruce is so holed up in Wayne Manor that the loyal Alfred Pennyworth must summon accountants to meet at Wayne Manor. He can’t get Bruce to go to them, so they have to come to him. Carmine Falcone, a known crime lord, greets Bruce with surprise at a public memorial service and calls Bruce the biggest recluse in Gotham besides himself.

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Movie Round-Up #10

I’ve seen quite a few movies over the pandemic but haven’t reviewed many of them. I shall now start on short reviews of them, categorised by type. This one’s on animated movies!

Read on for my thoughts on: Raya and the Last Dragon, Patema Inverted, Belle (The Dragon and the Freckled Princess), Soul, Encanto

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Spider-Man: No Way Home

I suppose the first movie I’ve seen in the cinema since 2020 deserves a blog post!

Picking up at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home, No Way Home begins with Peter Parker finds his life instantly thrown into chaos when his secret identity is revealed to the world. Upset that even Ned and MJ have been affected by this, Peter goes to Dr. Strange to beg his help in turning back time to fix it all. Strange offers him the option of forgetfulness instead, but the spell gets messed up by Peter’s adding exceptions to the forgetfulness and Strange has to contain the spell instead of unleashing it. Unfortunately, he didn’t contain it in time and the spell pulled in some rather unwelcome visitors from parallel universes…

Short opinion: I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would! Didn’t like the ending and I still don’t love Spider-Man as a character, but it is a solid movie overall.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduces a new member to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) who is forced to face his past when his father, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung), attempts to retrieve pendants given to Shang-Chi and his sister, Xialing, by their mother long ago.

It was a solid movie overall, significantly elevated by the casting of Tony Leung as the antagonist.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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Well. I’ve ignored this blog far too long!

But I feel like it’s very difficult to blog about life when I probably shouldn’t be talking about work stuff on a public platform, and I just haven’t been in the mood to write reviews. I suppose it’s a question of why maintain this blog at all still? For myself? If it’s just for me then I don’t need to make it public and I can just turn all the posts private. If it’s for others… Well, who reads this blog now? Haha

On to Luca!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Summary from Wikipedia: Set on the Italian Riviera, the film centers on Luca Paguro, a young sea monster boy with the ability to assume human form while on land, who explores the town of Portorosso with his new best friend, Alberto Scorfano, experiencing a life-changing summer adventure.

The Good

  • The look of the movie. It’s a very visually charming movie. Bright summery colours and softly rounded designs infuse a great deal of warmth into every scene and it’s lovely to look at.
  • The easygoing tone and story. It’s a relaxing movie. Nothing too grim or depressing, very much a straightforward coming-of-age and friendship story.
  • The 1950s/60s feel to it is very appealing to me. Some of the older Italian pop songs inserted into it were fun, and more so because I have a preference for the pop music of that era. The main soundtrack itself (music by Dan Romer) was not bad either.
  • Luca’s weird uncle from “the Deep” was hilarious in his one scene.
  • The technique displayed is amazing as always. Pixar doesn’t fail to deliver in technical execution, even when the story might be weaker (e.g. The Good Dinosaur). Animation, textures, lighting, etc. All fantastic.

The Not-quite-as-good

  • The resolution with regards to Luca’s parents coming to lose their fear of the land was a little rushed. However, if they had spent more time on this, it would have distracted from the main story so I can understand why his parents weren’t given a more fleshed-out storyline.
  • The fantasy/dream sequences were a little too long for my liking. Fun to watch in the moment, but slightly draggy.

There is nothing terrible about this movie, although I wouldn’t put it at the top of Pixar’s filmography. I think it sits somewhere in the middle, in the upper half of Pixar films. A simple, pleasant movie that’s easy to watch and leaves you with warm feelings, though it’s not extremely memorable.

(Wow, this turned out shorter than I thought it would.)