Thursday, December 08, 2016

Movie-watching 2016 part 5


It's pretty interesting that for the first time in as far as I can remember, Disney came out with two non-Pixar animated films in the same year. Moana is their 2nd offering in 2016 after the hugely successful Zootopia. While Moana continues the Disney tradition of having a princess as the main protagonist, it changes things up by not giving her a love interest. The animation is fantastic, with jaw-dropping landscapes and seascapes, and the main theme song How Far I'll Go, when matched with the incredible visuals, is quite inspiring. I do think the story is a bit simple and it still plays with the same themes of doing things people don't think you can do (or even forbid you to do), following your heart, and finding your own way. Still, it's a great movie that kids and adults will enjoy.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This movie is a prequel to the Harry Potter series and I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. Unlike the Harry Potter films which are set in another realm, this film is set in the human world (New York, to be specific). I thought the characters were very well-written and I especially liked Jacob Kowalski, who you could not help but root for (I guess the same goes true for Queenie). The movie has a lot of subplots but the main one, which brings the film to its scintillating climax, involves the search for the Obscurus, that was wreaking havoc in New York City. The effects are great and the acting is solid, but what makes this movie really good for me is that it does what good movies are supposed to do: it takes you to another world, makes you feel like you are part of it, and fills you with wonder and amazement.

Doctor Strange

To quote a friend of mine (who I think was also quoting someone else), Doctor Strange is like Inception on steroids. The effects of this film are so good, I wouldn't be surprised if it wins an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. If you don't get dizzy watching movies in IMAX 3D, I would recommend you see this movie in that format. Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job as Doctor Strange, as does Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. Be sure to stay in the theater to see the post-credits scene because it sets the stage for the rise of a future Doctor Strange enemy.

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