The Book of Life
The plot: Two spirits make a wager on which of two boys will win the girl's heart.
It was alright. It was a little too unfocused and hectic for my tastes.
The movie moves a mile a minute so that every scene feels like a climax, which isn't good. There's gotta be room to breathe, man!
The animation looked a little low budget, but that's fine with me - not every company has deep pockets. That being said, much like the story a lot of the scene layouts lacked focus: like an exploded canvas (lower GIF).
The best part of the movie is the two spirits, La Muerta and Xibalba (upper GIF), mostly because there hasn't really been an animated movie with a story where the plot is put into motion by two quarreling gods/lovers. I wish some of the superfluous characters had been taken out to put more emphasis on these two and the main characters.
The biggest problem I have with the movie storically is the two boys. One of the boys is a nice guy who secretly wants to play music rather than bull fight like his father wants him to, and one is a nice but butthead macho guy who likes the main girl because she's pretty and he wants her to do the dishes.
So where's my problem? Well, anyone over the age of twelve can tell that the girl's going to end up with the nice guy... okay.
But a more entertaining movie would involve the girl and the butthead macho guy because he has more room to grow
Nothing's more satisfying than a character who's completely different at the end of the story than he was at the beginning. And the nice guy who wins the girl in the end of this movie... is basically the same guy he was at the beginning.
Another issue I have is the prologue. It has a bunch of kids being told the story by a lady in a museum. And the movie keeps switching back to these pointless characters instead of focusing on all the stuff it just zips by. ;-;
I think I just made it sound like a terrible movie, but it's not. It's good, worth a watch if you're into animation or Mexican culture, at least.
I won't be rushing out to buy it, but good to watch with the kiddos. Strange Magic
The plot: Two broken hearted individuals who rule kingdoms completely different from each other are thrown together when one captures the other's sister.
Haha, this movie actually won me over. It's super simple, and the characters have very little depth, which isn't a bad thing in this case.
It's told kind of like an old school Disney film: super entertaining, great characters, no depth. Sadly, that sort of thing doesn't fly in this day and age -- if Cinderella
were released this year you could bet your bottom dollar it'd be panned by the critics like this one's been.
Also, people don't like stories where girls fall in love anymore. Like, it's antifeminist to have a girl like a guy or have a girl who wants to find love? yea right.
So! Things I really liked: this is a musical (yay!) that uses oldies for the songs (double yay!) Usually I'm all for making up new music, but for some reason I really liked the usage in this one. Plus it's nice to see the "villain" get to sing more than *one* song. Speaking of which... both Strange Magic and The Book of Life used a couple of the same songs. Haha! What a coincidence. Watch 'em both and find out which.
The animation was stellar. Just like Rango
, Lucasfilm outdid themselves on this. If you see it for one reason, it might as well be for the prettiness. Heehee.
It's a pretty predictable movie like The Book of Life, but the pacing is good and I did actually leave the theater smiling.
I wish more time could've been spent building up some of the characters' relationships, but since the movie takes place over a single night, it kinda had to be the way it is.
Oh, and it's NOTHING like "Epic". The only thing this movie has in common with that one is that it has small fantasy characters. That's it.
Do I recommend it? Sure! If you're in a superficial have a good time mood, and want to hear some oldies sung by broadway actors, go for it!
I have a feeling this movie will be a cult classic, kind of in the vein of The Swan Princess
only better. XD