Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Dumbo (2019) – **

Posted: April 2, 2019 in 2019, Children/Family, Fantasy, USA, XX

Whatever happened with Tim Burton? The last good film he made was Big Fish from 2003.

This isn’t really bad. It’s just not exciting or original or funny.

It’s interesting to see how they adapted the animation story from 1941. In fact, the original movie is told in maybe 30 minutes or so. And it’s clear that the makers changed whatever felt wrong in that version. The references to some of the main characters in the original are subtle. The mother elephant is brought to the circus, already pregnant. There’s a stork flying by, but he’s not ‘bringing the baby’. There’s a mouse dressed as a ringmaster as well, but it’s only briefly on screen. They did a great job making Dumbo look like a clown. The pink elephant parade is well re-interpreted. When the mother is locked up in train carriage, it looks exactly the same as in the Disney classic. But where are the crows? Was Disney afraid for ‘racial’ controversy ?

But once the original story is told there’s more drama and action coming. The original ends with Dumbo realizing he can fly… This movie focuses on whatever happens next. It starts with two children being reunited with their father who returned from the war in Europe (missing an arm). He’s appointed to be in charge of the elephant show, but already has trouble when the new animal gives birth to a ‘freak’. Once the freak becomes the star of the show, the whole circus moves to some kind of amusement park and that’s where more trouble starts.

They managed to make a decent live action movie of a pretty sad children’s story. But it’s not enchanting or charming. No matter how cute Dumbo looks. None of the new (human) characters excite.

www.imdb.com/title/tt3861390

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US – **(*)

Posted: March 29, 2019 in 2019, Fantasy, Horror, USA, XX1/2

The horror hype movie of the moment: US. 

Hyped horror movies! They normally turn out to be big disappointments (Hereditary? It?). But you know what? This is actually not a bad movie at all. It’s not scary and it’s slow. But it’s originally weird. A lot doesn’t make sense, but it’s entertaining from start to finish.

The story is simple. Somehow there’s an alternate world of shadows living in abandoned tunnels and empty undergrounds. They’ve been hiding there for decades (or centuries.. who knows), but now they’re ready to come out of their shelters and take over the world. By killing the humans they are identical shadows of.

The focus lies with one family who you can easily relate to. The dorky dad. The bossy mom. The bored teenage daughter. And the imaginative younger son. The director takes his time to introduce them. They are a close family, but each live in their own little world. Once they are confronted with their shadows, who try to break into their summer home and kill them off, the movie gets rolling. And it doesn’t stop.

Plus: there’s a great scary instrumental version of Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It” in one of the scarier scenes. A highlight.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6857112/

 

 

The Umbrella Academy – *

Posted: March 15, 2019 in 2019, Fantasy, USA, X

“Give it some time, it’ll grow on you”, a friend told me about his new favourite Netflix show The Umbrella Academy. 

Good for him, didn’t grow on me though.

Yes, it gets (a bit) better by the end and the final does make you kind of curious what will happen on in the second season, but it’s all way too weird.

Some scientist has raised 7 kids with special powers. All of them born on the same day. Their superpowers aren’t really all that special and one of them doesn’t have any powers at all. So it seems. Of course, she’ll be the one to reckon with. Duh. No spoiler alert. The main story itself is simple. The world is heading for an apocalypse and they are the only ones to stop it. If they work together. And that seems to be a problem. So, we’re confronted with all the issues that these kids have while being adults. In the mean time, there’s time travel as well. And aliens of course. And talking chimps. And two hit men (Mary J Blige is one of them!).

So it’s weird. And if weird is your thing, check it out. It’s well made. Just pretty boring.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1312171/

Bird Box – *

Posted: January 6, 2019 in 2018, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, USA, X

45 million Netflix users have watched this apocalyptic horror movie within a week of its release. According to Netflix of course. It may be true though. And even when it isn’t true, the media picked up on it and made it the popcorn movie everyone is talking about.

But no-one is talking about it positively. The overall feeling is that of disappointment. This is not a good movie. It’s not living up to the hype. Earlier this year a similar movie scored really well at the regular box office and was far superior. A Quiet Place had the perfect balance between drama and horror. This one has no balance at all. It’s a mess.

The story is absurd. Out of nowhere a ‘presence’ makes people commit suicide on the spot. The only solution is to survive with a blindfold on. Sandra Bullock plays one of those survivors, who finds refuge in a house. Five years later, she’s urged to escape with two little kids as the house isn’t safe anymore. A new rescue centre is welcoming her but getting there is tricky as it’s down the river.

A Quiet Place made more sense, even though it’s also about a supernatural ‘presence’. In that movie people couldn’t make a sound and had to be quiet to survive. The audience could easily relate and feel the tension when a sound was made. In this movie in order to survive you have to be blind. So, the only way to feel the same tension as the characters is to not look. Well, that’s not really working if you’re watching a movie, is it?

Go watch Roma instead.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2737304

Mowgli – *(*)

Posted: December 15, 2018 in 2018, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, UK, USA, X1/2

Disney’s live animation remake of The Jungle Book was a great success a few years ago. That must have been very bad news for the producers of Mowgli, another movie based on Rudyard Kipling’s fantasy book, telling the story of a young human being raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle. It’s not the first time in movie history that two production companies release a similar movie and almost always there’s the one movie that becomes a hit and the other a flop. Unless the movies are so unique that they become two totally different experiences.

Alas, for Mowgli, the first half of the movie is pretty similar to The Jungle Book. At least what’s the story is concerned. The animals look very different though. Less real, less polished, less funny. The creatures in this movie look like they all have had a past life being the caged, underfed pets of humans. A bit like Koba in Planet Of The Apes. And in the second half you do get to learn that Bagheera was once a pet. It’s a confession he makes when he visits Mowgli at night, who’s locked up in a cage by a white hunter living in an Indian village. That part is more intriguing than in the 2016 version. However, as the story could have focused on Mowgli’s integration with fellow humans, it ends with the hunt for Shere Khan, as predicted.

It’s a dark movie. It’s not fun entertainment. It does have its merits, but it falls short. The trailer is great though. The final product not so much.

An improvement to Season 6, but still too much talking. Blablabla. The story stopped making sense a long time ago. It never did really. But now it’s just the details in the story that don’t make sense at all. For six seasons long, the territory behind the wall seems very far away, yet in this season a raven can get a message across the continent in no time and the response to is delivered even faster! Really?

There are fewer main characters killed this season. There aren’t that many left, to be fair. But still…. However, finally, the one that should have been killed in season 1 already, gets his throat sliced. Hooray!

It’s an okay season. It only has seven episodes. The battle scenes are awesome. Lord of the Rings awesome. There’s some sexiness. Some humor. Some excitement. Even some scary moments. It’s just okay though. One more season and then we’re done with it.

Avengers: Infinity War – **

Posted: June 2, 2018 in 2018, Action, Fantasy, USA, XX

Yes, it’s entertaining. It’s action packed and there’s some humor in it. It doesn’t bore at all, even though it’s a long movie. But somehow, I’m not digging these marvel comic heroes. The X-Men franchise is much cooler. And nothing beats the Star Wars universe. But these Avengers: No. I’m not even sure if the movie would be that much more entertaining and funny if I had seen all of the other MCU movies. Probably not. I’m not in a hurry to catch up. Although I might just want to watch Dr Strange. He seems like a cool character. But none of these other heroes have any personality. It may be fun for fans to see all these superheroes have short cameos, but for others (me) this overload of cameos is confusing and unnecessary. And the visit to Wakanda is definitely not good. Chadwick Boseman looks like he’s bored to death in the 5 minutes you see his face as Black Panther. Which can be said by all of these big names, pretty much having only 5 minutes of screen time.

Josh Brolin though, the ‘bad guy’ from Deadpool 2, is the bad guy in this movie as well. What a year he’s having! He’s actually pretty good and steals the show. He’s actually the one you root for the most.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4154756/