Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sister Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts

Saturday Sister and I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You can barley tell we are in the picture but we are there.

And we loved the movie! I want to see it again.

There are spoilers ahead and I don't have the magic to wipe your memory so read on at your own risk.

Sister: Everything. Also Newt Scamander and his nice face. I was so excited seeing a new Harry Potter-world movie for the first time.
Me: It was wonderful. I loved the setting and time period. The movie felt like a new and fresh story but with appropriate ties that reminded us its connection to the similar Harry Potter world. I liked the set up at the beginning with the newspaper articles letting us know these are dark times and that Gellert Grindelwald is a threat. I loved discovering new magically things especially walking through Newt's animal suitcase sanctuary. I loved the catching of all the missing beasts and the friendship that builds between our four heroes Newt, Jacob, Tina and Queenie. I also adored Queenie and Jacob together. I loved that there were characters to hate, and characters who did dumb things but for confusing reasons, and characters you wanted to shake but understood there motivation. I liked that there were some predictable things like Graves being evil but there were still surprises. Also since I avoided most previews I loved the reveal of Grindelwald.

Less Than Good
Sister: Jacob having his memory erased, there were other solutions.
Me: I agree. Jacob losing his memory was not cool and him having a successful bakery was not as satisfying as it would have been for him and Queenie to run away to England where muggles and wizards can marry.

Favourite Character:
Sister: Credence Barebone
Me: Jacob and Queenie

Favourite Creature:
Sister: The Thunderbirds
Me: The Niffer or The Bowtruckle

Sister: 5 thunderbirds out of 5
Me: 4.8 occamy out of 5

We really liked the movie and think you will too. However, knowing that not everyone enjoys the same thing, if you didn't like the Harry Potter series or don't care for fantasy at all then this isn't the movie for you. I am sure others will find more wrong with the movie or how it is full of plot holes. I don't care. What I know is that it was an enjoyable time watching something new but familiar and I want to see it again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Friend Movie Review: Moana

Sunday five kids from my youth group and I went to see Disney's new movie, Moana. Two of them agreed to help review the movie for the blog. We've tried to keep the big plot points secret but we are discussing the movie so there are spoilers ahead.

Rhiana: I loved the music, and the story. It was beautiful. It was a nice change to have an adventure with no romance, even Brave had the adventure because her father wanted to find her a husband. In this it was just quest for the sake of a quest. I love that the casting choice was an actual 14 year old from Hawaii.

Hope: I also really loved the music. The animation was amazing, the water was always moving and Te Fiti was beautiful. It was nice having a Disney movie were both parents live. I also liked how it was gave a look at a culture I was unfamiliar with and told about their culture in a neat way.

Me: I loved colour and animation. It was bright and cheerful. I loved the "sidekicks" but was sad her pig didn't get to go on the big adventure. The script was fun. There were so many great lines and even meta jokes about Moana having a sidekick therefore a princess. I liked how the Ocean was made a character especially the interaction with the toddler Moana. I listened to a "making of Moana" video and liked how the song "You're Welcome" quickly told many of the different legends about Maui.

Less Than Good:
Rhiana: Chief Tala was a typical Disney father with the, "don't do this thing" harshness that was all forgiving at the end, "I am so glad you disobeyed me." It would be nice just once to have a supportive parent.

Hope: the scene with the Kakamora pirates seemed pointless, I don't see how it furthered the plot and for character development it only seemed to show that Moana is awesome -but we already knew that.

Me: I agree with Hope about the Kakamora, I thought there was going to be another show down with them at some point, there wasn't. There are a more than a few moments that felt like I was watching a previous movie not the story, but the telling on the story. The acting out tattoo reminded me of the Muses in Hercules, the conclusion reminded me of something from Princess Mononoke, and the music at times reminded me as a cross between the Tarazan score and Hamilton. Also, every time see started practicing her "I am Moana" speech I wanted to say, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya..." None of those things were truly bad, they just took me out of the movie for a bit while I tried to figure out what was similar. I found this especially hard with the music.

I also didn't immediately love the music. It didn't have that same ... whatever it is that makes Disney music magical. After so many Disney movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and Frozen) I had a song I loved therefore needed the soundtrack. I already had the song stuck in my head. I've only seen Pocahontas once and yet I know all the words to Colour of the Wind. I wanted the Moana music to be the same way. And I think it was that magical for the teens with me. But I didn't find myself wanting to sing-along in the same away. This time there was no one line or lyric that stayed stuck in my head at first. As I researched I listened to the music my feeling changed. But at the time I remember being underwhelmed.

Favourite Scene:
Rhiana: I think my favourite scene when Moana is in the cave and discovers her ancestors were explorers.
Hope: My favourite scene is how the heart was returned. Where it was and the song Moana sang.
Me: I think I liked the scene right after the Moana song (diving into the ocean) and the reforming of the phrase she'd been saying though out the movie.

Favourite Song:
Rhiana: You're Welcome
Hope: We Know the Way
Me: We Know the Way

Favourite Character:
Rhiana: Heihei
Hope: Grandmother Tala
Me: The Ocean

Rhiana: 4 sting rays out of 5
Hope: 3.8 canoes out of 5
Me: 3.8 Kakamora (pirate coconuts) out of 5

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful Thursday #212

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

As they celebrate it seems like a good time to write a new Thankful Thursday. Over the past month I've been thankful...
  • ...for safety when traveling. I've been on the road a lot and glad that we always arrive at our destination.
  • ...that I get to be with my family.
  • ...for new friends. It's been slow settling in and I still miss my Nova Scotia friends. But I am so thankful for each new person I meet here.
  • ...for good books and movies. I love stories that inspire me.
  • ...fluffy blankets.
  • drinks.
  • ...cold medication.