Monthly Movie Musings: Oct 2014 to Jan 2015

Four months’ worth of reviews! Featuring penguins, a singing wolf, zombie animals, death, guitars, robots, dwarves, and Benedict Cumberbatch!

Every month (give or take), I post all the new-to-me films that I watched the previous month, and make rambly remarks that sort of resemble reviews, but not really.

I don’t fancy myself a critic, but I do like talking about movies and sharing my love and appreciation for really good stories (and ranting about the not-so-good ones). So these aren’t so much critiques, but rather, my immediate thoughts after seeing a film.

Here are the movies I watched from October 2014 to January 2015!

Frankenweenie

3/5 ✦ – Watched 24 Oct 2014.
It met my expectations in that it wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be (contradictory as that may sound). A few more rounds of editing and revising would’ve done it good, I think. Basically just a big montage of homages to other films – though to be fair (spoiler), the monsters running around at the end was the best part.

 

 

 

 

The Book of Life

4/5 ✦ – Watched 27 Oct 2014.
As you can probably tell from the poster, this movie is GORGEOUS. There is so much detail in EVERYTHING, and it’s all beautifully animated. As for the story, the trailers don’t do it justice – not necessarily plot twists, but doesn’t unfold like you might think (and very respectful to Mexican culture, of course!). The music was a pleasant surprise (totally buying the CD worthy), and the acting was phenomenal. Also really funny! Definitely a win!

 

 

 

Big Hero 6

5/5 ✦ – Watched 9 Nov 2014.
Firstly, Baymax is every bit as adorable as he looks, and easily the best robot companion since the Iron Giant. I believe this movie has the same peeps behind it as Wreck It Ralph, and its style of humor and plot techniques are quite similar in VERY good way. It’s absolutely hilarious, the story clips along without losing the audience, the animation is delightfully stellar, and all the characters are well-developed and entertaining. WONDERFUL FILM.

 

 

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

4/5 ✦ – Watched 21 Nov 2014
This franchise continues to improve with each new installment, with this definitely being my favorite so far. Even having read the books (albeit ages ago), it was INCREDIBLY suspenseful, and quite a few scenes were very, very well done. It absolutely delivered, and set everything up for the final film perfectly.

 

 

 

 

Penguins of Madagascar

3.5/5 ✦ – Watched 6 Dec 2014.
Pretty much wanted to see this for the puns. And it was totally worth it. I’ve always found the Penguins to be very funny, even throughout all permutations of the Madagascar franchise, and this film was firing on all cylinders to get it right. It gets a little wonky at the end (a la Despicable Me 2), but otherwise, a hilarious kid’s movie for the young at heart.

 

 

 

Into the Woods

4/5 ✦ – Watched 6 Jan 2015.
The film adaptation of one of the most famous Broadway plays I’d never heard of. The premise alone intrigued me, but then I watched the PBS recording of the actual play, and I loved it! This film is quite a straightforward adaptation, leaving out only a few bits, but ones that are quite important, especially for fans of the musical. Still, superbly sung and acted (LOVED the princes, XD), and a pretty good movie in its own right.

 

 

 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

3/5 ✦ – Watched 10 Jan 2015.
The final film in the Hobbit series. I still don’t understand why they split the book into three massive films, and this one is probably the most bloated of them all. No one gets enough of the screentime they deserve, and a few plot points are tied up either abruptly or incredibly cheesily. Still, the effects are always wonderful, the acting phenomenal, and it’s Lord of the Rings! It’s awesome!

 

 

 

The Imitation Game

4/5 ✦ – Watched 7 Feb 2015.
Wanted to see this pretty much for the Oscar bait and Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s a very good film, superbly acted and written, and enough suspense to keep up what might have been a rather tedious plot. I was disappointed to find out the film isn’t historically accurate (though I really shouldn’t’ve been), but totally true or not, it has an excellent message about the problem of “normalcy” and how damaging it can be.

 

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