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Animated Movies

Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation Review (2018) | Just Stop Already!

How should I put it? Umm….Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation feels like when you are changing channels on your Television and you stop to see what Drac is up to, and you end up seeing it anyway just for a smile. To frame it in a sentence – it’s not the greatest of things, and it’s not the worst of things. But it is definitely something in between.

To be really honest, nobody wants a movie that does not have a great plot, but Hotel Transylvania has these characters that people have slowly grown to admire. You put them in anything, and they are going to see it. Especially Adam Sandler‘s character of Drac. His voiceover remains as funny as it was when we heard it for the first time.

For all the characters of the franchise that we had grown to love in the past, this movie, unfortunately, doesn’t do all of them justice. Because Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation is not concerned about others. It is fully focused on finding Drac a girlfriend and how his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) reacts to it. It does all of it in the backdrop of a vacation spent on a cruise.

Period. That’s it! The whole story that the movie tries to sell. The rest of the things are mere fillers. The flick is terribly slow paced badly in need of a direction and what defines as good comedy.

hotel transylvania 3 summer vacation

The Bad Direction of Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation

Goes without saying that Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation tries to cruise in shallow waters without much substance to help it swim. Its jests feel a lot of times dumb and pointless. There are plenty of times when you feel even the transition from one scene to another appearing incomplete almost as if like a joke was zipped midway, lacking a punch or a proper closure.

There are so many moments in the movie when you realize the movie is badly in need of a direction that it is running out of content to hold the story. That’s when you realize how badly has it been edited.

For most of the comic stuff, it heavily relies on the clumsiness of its characters like Blobby (Genndy Tartakovsky) puking up Baby Blobby or Puppy wreaking havoc whenever it finds a bone. There is no genuine comedy embroiled in a situation that elicits some serious guffaws.

Genndy as a director needs to buff up his direction. What is he basically getting at? Maybe improve his script to milk all the great characters that he has.

Saved by the Final Showdown

I think what saves the Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation movie a little bit, if at all it swims through, is by its final showdown. Even though that feels really stupid in a way, it pays tribute to forgotten music bringing back all the classics making it all the way enjoyable. In a way, it tries to exhume a message that every father these days has been dying to blurt out:

Music, in our times, was good.

You laugh off eventually calling it an entertainer that blends in all the elements of fun by not taking anything seriously.

Just like Hotel Transylvania 2 had that GPS gig that was funny, this one might be remembered for playing Britney and Macarena competing against some deadly trance. I swear I could hear a father get up and say, “Yeah!”

Among other good things you can say the character of Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) was well animated. I mean even his mannerism and the way he spoke managed to bring a smile to your face. The CGI of the movie was great as usual. The team has done an excellent job there once again.

Adam Sandler as an Actor

Now this series does not technically use Adam as an actor. Since he basically does a voiceover in all of them. But it is probably the only good thing going on in Adam Sandler’s life as far as his movie department is concerned.

As a dialogue from Funny People:

He is really funny. I don’t know why his movies aren’t funny, though.

That’s a million dollar question that we don’t have an answer to. Is it his choice of movies?

He is really good with his comic timing and slapstick jests when you are creating certain situations. But when you put him in a movie, you know, basically ask him to run a marathon, he ends up becoming not so good. I don’t know, we need to do a case study on him or something. Interesting!

You can order Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation from here:

The Final Verdict

Hotel Transylvania movies take time to show up, around three years to be precise, thus allowing people to forget things, and then it becomes a refresher once they hit the theatres again. But it is somehow surreal that despite taking all that time, they don’t work on improving their script.

Why not come up with a real challenge and stop creating extra characters when you can basically create better food from what you already have? Handling all these evergrowing characters in a single movie is becoming difficult for crying out loud. I mean they should learn that management from Avengers Infinity War. Okay, that wasn’t a comparison really!

I think the makers need to stop. Genndy, in particular, needs to move on to a different project instead of coming back to this franchise that has run out of its juice. Instead of grinding his gears to come up with another sloppy mix, it’s better to come up with a new and original setup.

Genndy, are you listening?

Incredibles 2 Movie Review (2018) | 14 Years of Punishing Wait is Over

The sequel to Incredibles is finally here after 14 years and it’s hard not to go gaga over it. Incredibles 2 movie is exactly what we expected it to be – extremely entertaining! In terms of its story, it is almost like its prequel and more, as the creators let it take a natural form taking things forward right from where it left off. Like the presence of Jack-Jack automatically dabbing the throttle on one of its major sub-plot.

The CGI is simply breathtaking which is exactly what you expect from a Disney Pixar creation. Brad Bird has done an outstanding job yet again with the tightly packed chemistry of the family that works so well when they are together. There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the Incredibles 2 movie as you go on a mind-racking joyride that features a villain that would literally dip you into horrific waters and then suck out all hope.

The Long Wait

It was a constant follow up right from the point – “Why are we not developing a sequel to a truly deserving movie?” to “We have finally found a story” and the news that Brad was all over it flung us into euphoria. That Brad was going to see things through once again, put back the promise in its place, the promise that the movie wasn’t going to suck. And it doesn’t.

It’s time to make wrong things right.

What makes the movie admirable at once is the nostalgia that comes right back with Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) trying hard to get back the reins of Mr. Incredible. Holly Hunter‘s incredible southern accent that literally resuscitates her character of Helen Parr / Elastigirl again. While they changed Dash’s voice this time done by Eli Fucile owing to age issues, Sarah Vowell got in the vocal chords of Violet Parr once again bringing back a sudden gush of reminiscence to the shore.

incredibles 2 movie still

Then we have Frozone back in Incredibles 2 movie again reprised by Samuel L. Jackson‘s next to perfect voice. His presence felt quite satisfying and he has a pretty good role in here as well. How can we forget Edna Mode? Voiced once again by Brad Bird to perfection, she serves as a worried nanny in this one, who at once takes interest in Jack Jack’s power and abilities and gives him a suit he deserves.

It is almost like the entire family of superheroes and all the related people we saw in the prequel ending up having a reunion.

Other Important Characters

What adds spices to the already outstanding plot of Incredibles 2 movie was the inclusion of Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) and Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) into the storyline. They take the story forward by bringing that mysterious undertone that was there in the prequel as well. You don’t accept people to be good. With Winston and Evelyn giving Elastigirl a chance of her lifetime, a similar plot takes shape.

To help my family I gotta leave it. To fix the law I gotta break it.

The Screenslaver

The Screenslaver is one of those mysterious villains that ends up being a rare match. His confounded theories will make you wonder that like every genius nemesis, he is right on a lot of points. Of course, as to his real identity, who he is, you will find out once you watch the movie. I am not going to spoil it further.

Just going to put this brilliant quote right here untended:

The Screenslaver interrupts this program for an important announcement. Don’t bother watching the rest. Elastigirl doesn’t save the day; she only postpones her defeat. And while she postpones her defeat, you eat chips and watch her invert problems that you are too lazy to deal with.

Superheroes are part of a brainless desire to replace true experience with simulation. You don’t talk, you watch talk shows. You don’t play games, you watch game shows. Travel, relationships, risk; every meaningful experience must be packaged and delivered to you to watch at a distance so that you can remain ever-sheltered, ever-passive, ever-ravenous consumers who can’t free themselves to rise from their couches to break a sweat, never anticipate new life. You want superheroes to protect you, and make yourselves ever more powerless in the process. Well, you tell yourselves you’re being “looked after”. That you’re inches from being served and your rights are being upheld. So that the system can keep stealing from you, smiling at you all the while.

Go ahead, send your supers to stop me. Grab your snacks, watch your screens, and see what happens. You are no longer in control. I am.

Stunning CGI

It is hard not to talk about the movie’s stunning CGI. Whilst it is something people often tend to overlook owing to how invested they are in the story, and you barely get time to notice minutiae that comprise it, but if you pay enough attention to every character’s expressions, of things that are lingering alongside them, the artwork that goes behind in the backdrop, you realize how painstakingly everything has been built. You know it’s grandeur written in every frame. So much of work that has gone in it. Can we have a standing ovation already?

Brings to mind the t-shirt Bob was wearing when lifting Jack-Jack. You could see every tiny fabric when you zoom in on it. I can’t help but share this image so you will know what perfection is.

Bob Parr's t-shirt in Incredibles 2 movie

That’s just awe-inspiring and breathtaking if you ask me. Spending so much time making a frame look next to reality, that’s what top-notch animation is.

The Theme of Incredibles 2 Movie

As to the plot of Incredibles 2 movie, it starts off exactly where it had left off. Almost instantly taking you back to 2004. Violet’s subplot is basically handed to her by Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) who wipes out the memory of the boy she was into since he had seen her true identity.

If you wanna get out of the hole, first you gotta put down the shovel.

Violet’s struggle is in trying to win him over, struggling to do that, and then serving as a babysitter to her youngest sibling Jack-Jack. At the same time trying to help her parents.

Same goes with Dash too who is still a kid trying to understand the ways of the world, fighting his sister all the time and then babysitting Jack-Jack when the parents aren’t around.

Why would they change math? Math is math.

The world comes tumbling down for Bob Parr whose biggest struggle is to handle his kids while Elastigirl frees herself from all homely responsibility and storms off to take a job. The pay is good and a bit mysterious too. On the other hand, old-school Bob is forced to sit home to face what Elastigirl had faced in the prequel, in short, understanding or experiencing the pain of parenting.

In a world of feminism and equality, the plot automatically takes shape giving us a mouthful of laughter as Bob struggles with parenting.

Done properly, parenting is a heroic act.

What seems like a smooth life has countless challenges written all over it as Elastigirl despite her pompous comeback keeps feeling the weight of a villain on her shoulder. As the villain Screenslaver gradually builds itself in her rear glass, she becomes suspicious of everything that’s going on in her life until one day she becomes the victim. Bob runs into a trap himself and fails to help her out of the situation.

Ending up trapped, it is the children who have to rescue their parents, in the process, prove their worth. Will they be able to do that? Find out when you watch the movie yourself.

You can order the Incredibles 2 movie from here:

Some Issues

The only thing that might bother you in Incredibles 2 movie could be its ending which doesn’t blow you away. Probably because Brad doesn’t properly leverage all the powers of the superheroes this time, that they had only a human to tackle and just a tricky situation to handle.

Amongst other noticeable issues, one could say is the plot which is very similar to the one that we had seen in the prequel. It almost runs on similar rails.

Then the unnecessary exaggeration of a raccoon fight to showcase Jack-Jack’s power which felt pretty dispensable although it manages to bring a smile to your face. In its defense, I could say, kids actually loved that part.

The Final Verdict

Incredibles 2 movie is yet another brilliant installment that stood up to its standard. Brad Bird does a fantastic job again and you could say that he hasn’t lost his touch. His reprisal from 2015’s Tomorrowland feels like a major improvement.

His team of superheroes might be discordant at times but they happen to be literally a family. And there’s nothing like it in the whole world. Beat that!

A must watch for everybody especially for those who have waited all this time patiently for the sequel to come.

Peter Rabbit Movie Review (2018) | Plainly Made For Kids

Peter Rabbit Movie is an entertainer alright, and it does try to resuscitate the age-old story by Beatrix Potter which is great, to be frank. Long lost tales should show up every now and then because I highly doubt Millenials would ever hear about them otherwise.

Sadly this new adaptation by Will Gluck isn’t really as humorous as it was supposed to be if you look at it with a critical eye. How can the James Corden voiced bunny not be funny? Everything boils down to the writing, of course.

There are so many moments in the flick that will give away the fact that the writers were trying really hard to deliberately make the conversations funny. Unfortunately, they didn’t know they were simply worsening things.

Peter Rabbit movie is ridden with so many flaws that you can’t stop yourself from shaking your head every now and then. Apart from the bad writing, even the direction fails to impress you. In a world where live action-computer animated movies, like Ted and Paddington, are doing so well, the rabbit fails to win the race yet again.

A Movie For Kids

Looking at the bright side, which we should always practice, Peter Rabbit movie amuses you nevertheless and brings a smile to your face. It is supposed to be a light movie that should be enjoyed for its characters (I am afraid there are only a few that are memorable). The presence of great actors Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson even though how comic they become at times, their characters have been made really brittle.

Peter Rabbit Movie the rabbit kin

But I get it. It is supposedly made for children. If you take that quotient into account, you will realize that kids are going to love it. And they absolutely do. But if you take into consideration minor aspects of the flick, you will begin to see so many pointless things lurking that it is downright painful.

In the animation front, it does great. The CGI of Peter Rabbit is just brilliant. Expressions are very careful capturing even the minutiae of fauna. They have merged the frames quite meticulously, and the flow seems proper.

The Plot of Peter Rabbit Movie

Peter Rabbit, his cousin Benjamin (Colin Moody) and sisters Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley)are on constant war with Mr. Joe McGregor (Sam Neill) when the latter meets a heart attack.

Peter Rabbit, now claiming that he has murdered him, invites rest of the jungle creatures to McGregor’s, having a party rampaging his garden. It is when an uptight estranged nephew of the deceased McGregor, Thomas played by Domhnall Gleeson, inherits the house and shows up at their gates when the war between the rabbits and Thomas McGregor begins.

The War (Spoilers)

Thomas used to work in Harrods from where he was fired for losing his temper when he wasn’t promoted – a McGregorian curse.

Bea (Rose Byrne) is a next door neighbor to McGregor’s newly inherited house. Thomas’ intent is to sell the house and open a rival shop next to Harrods. For which he begins to build a wall to keep the menacing mongers out, even though Bea objects to it. Having a soft corner for her makes hurting those rabbits a difficult task even though on one occasion he nearly drowns Benjamin, PR’s cousin.

Bea and Thomas begin to fall in love and that’s probably from where the movie starts to become a tad indigestible. Up until this point, the movie feels great but it begins to lose its validity when you see the rabbits constantly involved in the life of what Thomas and Bea do. It’s like a cinema that they are constantly watching like they have nothing else to do. Their routine life changes from stealing vegetables from Thomas’ garden to becoming all about what Bea is doing.

I miss being helpful. A parent or grandparent comes into this shop looking for a gift for the child they love. I ask a few simple questions and know exactly what they need. I love helping people get what they want. Especially when they don’t even know that they want it. Those are the best.

The real war begins based upon that element of jealousy that Peter Rabbit houses and transforms into something ugly. When the intent of killing Thomas takes another form, Thomas returns the favour by filling their tree-house with dynamite. One freaky accident avalanches erupting the tree which falls on Bea’s art studio. Seeing through the cover, and judging Thomas for who he really was, she ends the relationship.

Going Back to London

Thomas goes back to London to work for Harrods again while Bea is ready to leave her house. Peter Rabbit feeling bad for what he did since he was responsible for the detonation that caused the tree to erupt, decides to visit London to apologize to Peter and bring him back to stop Bea from leaving. Benjamin and Peter both end up at Harrod’s and convince him to return.

In the nick of time, Thomas returns apologizing to Bea, whilst Peter Rabbit comes forward to show that he was the one who had detonated the dynamite and that Thomas was innocent. A snobbish couple walks in to live in Thomas’ house since he had already sold it to them despite Thomas’ refusal. Peter Rabbit and his friends then show them that the house was infested with living creatures and that it was simply unlivable.

You can order Peter Rabbit movie from here:

The Roots

The intelligent bits lie in how the bookish elements are preserved without blemishing it. Like the part where Peter Rabbit asks the portrait of his parents about what needs be done, and they reflect Peter’s imagination. Also, the part where they show how Peter Rabbit’s dad had died was brilliantly illustrated reviving the book once again.

Peter talking to Thomas as the latter admits how highly improbable it was, is that subtle hint at human fancies that winks at wishful thinking and what makes human brain all the very much interesting.

Peter Rabbit Movie Wallpaper

The Final Verdict

Peter Rabbit movie is alright if you look at it from a child’s perspective. But for a purist, it might not be. For kids, it helps them put a face to a story, understand that a character as interesting as him ever thrived in a book.

Check out other movie reviews where Gleeson was a part of.

Loving Vincent Review (2017) | Perfect Homage | Full Analysis with Spoilers

Speechless! Loving Vincent movie is a work of a genius, of a combined effort of a team and a vision of directors who have immense knowledge about how to film a scene. What stands out almost immediately is the way it has been projected and portrayed on 65000 oil paintings by hundreds of artists from all across the globe, and such fine animation it retains that it would leave every innate motion to shame.

The amount of work that has been put in and the gargantuan size of that effort will leave you marveling over what humans can achieve if they put their heart into something. It is an ideal paragon of colossal things that we can achieve when braided together.

A Forgotten History

Loving Vincent not only boasts of its teamwork but it also carefully builds itself over that thin edge of reverence and criticism that we often carry for forgotten people.

For instance, so far I just knew that Vincent Van Gogh was one of the most brilliant painters of his time and that he was one ear short as portrayed in one of his self-paintings. I knew nothing of how, nothing about his life or the history that he became whilst trying to do one thing he loved to do – painting. Until of course, I saw Loving Vincent movie for myself, and everything changed. My very perception of this man I didn’t know. I felt a hole in my heart being filled as I  was able to relate to Vincent who had so much going on in his life.

It is hard not to love him not for just the work he did, of which it speaks volume, but for a man trying to find his place in a world that failed to understand him. The latter relates to me on so many levels that I fell in love with the artist almost instantly.

The Plot of Loving Vincent

The plot basically strands out from Vincent Van Gogh’s life, as was consumed after death from the eyes of Armand Roulin from The Roulin Family It is voiced and painted on Douglas Booth who by the way fits right into the presumable boots of the original, of a man who had grown to hate Vincent. But as Loving Vincent progresses he comes to understand Vincent’s mindset appreciating him all the way.

Armand empathizes for him, wearing his shoes as he becomes him, literally sleeping in his bed to realize that the world was just too cruel for Vincent and that people failed to do enough.

Full Spoilers and Analysis of Loving Vincent

There are questions that weigh on him of which he elicits answers from, but in doing so he becomes immensely affected. Trying to deliver Vincent’s last letter which was given to Armand’s father postmaster Joseph Roulin who was also one of Vincent’s friends (he has been painted as well), Armand stumbles across many people who help him understand why Vincent shot himself starting from:

  • Pere Tanguy (The Paint Supplier)
  • Louise Chevalier (The Housekeeper)
  • Adeline Ravoux
  • The Boatman
  • Marguerite Gache
  • Young Man with a Cornflower
  • Old Peasant
  • Gendarme Rigaumon
  • Doctor Mazery
  • Doctor Gachet

Babes are like animals son. They can know the heart of a man just by the sight of them.

As a side mission to delivering that letter, he takes upon himself to solve the mystery of the suicide as was asked of him by his father. Armand meets all kinds of people, the ones who hated Vincent to the core to the people who really adored him.

Live longer, you will see. Life can even bring down the strong.

The Past

He learns that Vincent was really close to his brother Theo (Cezary Lukaszewicz)to whom the letter was intended.

Two hearts. One mind.

Vincent’s death had left him shattered.

He had actually been with him a whole day at the end, but Vincent insisted they use the time to discuss life not death.

Theo died six months after his brother. As a flashback of sorts, we get to relive the story of Vincent.

He tried so hard to fit into his family. But, he never succeeded in this.

Vincent’s early life was a mess owing to how difficult he found it to find his place.

He struggled to be what they wanted him to be.

But when he picked up the brush when he was 28 (it’s never too late to follow your dreams people) with Theo’s support he was able to pursue it for real. Paris happened to him as Pere Tanguy (John Sessions), puts it:

Everything that happens in art happens here.

Vincent took it as a pitstop to learn before finally bidding farewell to Pere. The latter suggests Armand to see a certain Dr. Gachet (Jerome Flynn) whom he had seen crying the most at Vincent’s funeral.

Louise Chevalier

Next, he runs into Louise Chevalier (Helen McCrory) trying to find the Doctor. She hated Vincent to the core. Louise opines about Vincent as being a troublemaker.

He had these bewildered eyes in which there was something insane, something which you dare not look.

There is this particular scene where Vincent walks into the Doctor’s house as his eyes fall on Marguerite Gachet (Saoirse Ranon), the doctor’s daughter. You could tell Louise hating him for it, stopping and staring at Marguerite like that.

But when you get to hear the story later from Marguerite Gachet’s own mouth, that exact meeting feels entirely different. Vincent had these careful reading eyes, that he couldn’t help stopping to meticulously admire things of beauty whenever he bumped into one.

There is something in that fleeting moment of admiration that stops an artist and takes him away on a tour with his canvas, as an imminent painting in his head unfurls, fluttering to be drawn. (that moment uplifted by “Marguerite Gache at the piano” music by Clint Mansell)

And such veneration one might and one should feel to be identified as a beautiful object by the world’s greatest painters himself. It’s a shame that Louise didn’t know. It’s a shame that nobody knew back then.

It is interesting how perspectives are read. While to Louise, it was unruly but to Marguerite, it was just oodles of love. Just imagine that stark stare of having been identified, of being marked to be painted in the future. If an artist is sundered from his artistry, it would be downright criminal. Louise feels like one of those people who could have done such a thing was she her mother.

Adeline Ravoux

Failing to find the doctor, Armand decides to trace Vincent’s steps by sleeping in the same ‘hole’ where Vincent used to stay. There he meets Adeline Ravoux (Eleanor Tomlinson) and they bond quickly.

There’s a line nicely put about her always running errands for her father, which reflects what Armand was doing all this time.

Adeline fills him in her side of the story of how Vincent had shown up with a bullet wound saying,

I tried to kill myself.

How Dr. Gachet was the first one to show up, and how Gindarme Rigaumon (Martin Herdman) came to take Vincent’s statement, and to locate the whereabouts of the gun that was used.

Next was Theo who showed up and stayed with him until the very end.

If only I could’ve been one of them.

Adeline revisits the day she had met Vincent and admired how organized he was, loving how he was different from the rest.

I was wondering when he slept, painting all day, writing these long letters, always reading these fat books.

She suggests Armand to go talk to The Boatman (Aidan Turner) since Vincent loved spending time on the river.

The Boatman

The Boatman remembers Vincent for how carefully he would watch life around the river.

He didn’t talk so much mostly just sat around watching, sometimes painting.

One of the most beautiful moments (uplifted by “Marguerite Gache at the piano” music again) in Loving Vincent, is when he tries to recollect a crow trying to steal Vincent’s food.

He looked so happy that this dirty crow was coming close. Didn’t seem to care that it ran off with his lunch.

The Boatman tells Armand about the boating parties where Vincent would often be found hanging around with the rich boys. On a remark about Vincent being shy, The Boatman tells him about Marguerite Gachet who would often come to the river with Vincent.

They were chatting in that way, you know, like speaking to each other was the most exciting thing ever.

The Church Contrast

Armand once again meets Adeline and comes to know of the rumour spread by the housekeeper about Doctor Gachet being overprotective of his daughter. As the church bells ring in the backdrop, it gives him an idea to ensure the housekeeper is visiting so that he could go see Marguerite at her home.

The housekeeper spills venom for Vincent, smudging him with her theories, of her take on him yet again.

I could see the fever in his eyes at first glance. And the great artist himself, always skulking about, gobbling our food, just making messes in corners.

It’s brilliant how the directors chose to put its immediate line as a summon from the church. It’s the contrast depicting a typical human mind and the way it works.

The placement of spewing ugly things for someone, cursing him, and then remembering to pray, you have to marvel at the pointlessness of doing good when you have just done something bad. It just goes on to show how fickle human mind is. That Louise was simply practicing the exact opposite of what she preached. There was more contempt in her than love while the church never preaches to hate.

Armand finds his window of opportunity to speak to Marguerite when she capers off to church.

Marguerite Gachet

Retraced their first meeting, Marguerite paints over what had actually happened, trying to conceal the truth. We get to see the things that had happened through some black and white frames as Vincent had stopped to marvel Marguerite with his searing eyes.

She fills Armand about Doctor Gachet of how both Vincent and Doctor shared common interests. Vincent at one point had called Gachet as his third brother.

They were both artists. They liked the same painters. They understood each other.

Once again hiding the truth Marguerite says that they didn’t socialize even though Vincent painted her several times. On instigating her further and pointing fingers at the Doctor, Marguerite asks him to leave.

Dissecting Vincent

Back at the hole, Adeline is pissed off at Armand for leaving her in the middle of a conversation. When Armand tells her why he had left, she tries to recollect more about Doctor Gachet and Vincent.

Maybe they were similar on the outside. He had the same red hair, and that same sad look in his eyes. But, on the inside, they were chalk and cheese.

The immediate frame follows a scene describing how Vincent wasn’t snobbish like Gachet. That he was kind, polite and loving. A little girl shows up to draw with Vincent, as her mother snatches her away to bed.

She’s no trouble.

There is poignancy caked in that scene where you get to feel the emotional pang for Vincent. How the world failed to understand him! They took him for a madman when all he was trying to do was follow his heart.

It also depicts how ravaging it is to destroy the innocence of a child by forcing routines on budding brains. All the poor child wanted was to learn from the best, but the world was and it still is, too insolent to fathom. They are worried about their children becoming one. They want them living simple normal lives instead unknowingly.

Tea Towels

The story of Loving Vincent movie unspools more at this very juncture when Adeline tells Armand about how Vincent longed to meet his brother. He got to meet him just once but the meeting didn’t go well.

When he returned from the visit he started asking Adeline for tea towels instead of canvases, since the latter were costly. It was clear that he had had an argument with his brother about money-related issues. It was Theo who bought all his painting accessories after all.

Vincent had handed over a letter to Adeline to be delivered to Theo, asking for paints, that he had a lot of ideas brimming in him.

This is where he lived? And where he died.

Armand lies in Vincent’s bed reading his first letter to Theo.

I feel I see the North all the better from my trip to the South.

He talks about the beauty of the new place he had nestled in. He talks about Doctor Gachet as well.

Doctor Gachet is eccentric. I don’t know how he thinks he can cure me when he seems at least as sick as I am.

As there is nothing else to do but follow your heart, time literally stops for you. There is plenty of time at hand to think and come up with unique creations.

The days seem like weeks to me.

Old Peasant and the Young Man with a Cornflower

Sleeping in his bed, feeling the exact amount of pain Vincent felt, Armand encounters him in a dream, gasping for air and wandering off into the white light.

Waking up, out smoking he finds the Young Man with a Cornflower (from Vincent’s painting) hurling stones at him. He chases him down to end up in a barn.

The curiosity of Vincent’s death takes Armand to the fields as he tries to retrace the last day as was spent by Vincent. He once again bumps into the young man with the cornflower chasing him yet again. This time he encounters an Old Peasant who apologizes for the young man’s behavior, telling him the young man was his nephew and didn’t mean any harm.

It is from the peasant that Armand gathers that the barn Armand had visited the night before was actually where Vincent had been shot, and not as some had claimed, in the fields.

Rene Secretan

Talks about how he had found the pistol to shoot himself gave away that the pistol could have been very well that of Doctor Gachet or Ravoux. With the housekeeper writing it off as Ravoux’s and Adeline writing it off by saying they had sold it before Vincent was shot, a new development happens when The Boatman reveals that it was Rene Secretan (Marcin Sosinski) who was the buyer of that gun.

Rene was one of those young lads Vincent hung around with. Infuriated for something Rene had said to Vincent, Armand asks why the boatman didn’t smack the lad. To which he replies:

It wasn’t my business. It wasn’t my fight.

Armand is boiling with the fact that something could have been done, and it wasn’t done. You stand for your friends no matter what. That’s what he believed in. If the boatman would have stood for Vincent, he might not have been dead, so he thought.

What are Friends For?

But the Boatman is right when he says if Vincent didn’t want to stay in the company of the young, he could have simply left, but he chose to hang around maybe because Rene would always get the tab (insinuates financially instability once again).

Armand is disappointed in all the people who called themselves Vincent’s friends and he lays it on the poor boatman. The boatman counteracts by saying, what did Armand do for Vincent?

The Boatman: Were you such a great friend?
Armand: I never said I was.

Pissed off by those who bully others, because of how Rene bullied Vincent, Armand takes a stand for the Young man with a cornflower and gets into a fight with some hooligans who were bullying him. Waking up he realizes that he had socked even Gendarme Rigaumon who had come to restore peace.

Vincent generated more letters than a town.

Doctor Mazery

Rigaumon tells him about a certain Doctor Mazery (Bill Thomas) who had pestered Rigaumon to file his report. Meeting Mazery it becomes clear to Armand that it wasn’t suiciding after all. Mazery goes into the details of how suicides generally entail people shooting themselves either on the head or through the temple.

Most likely he was shot.

Doctor Mazery’s theory clearly suggested that Vincent was shot from a distance since it was impossible to shoot yourself up point blank range and not have the bullet go through you. He enacts a whole scenario to prove how he must have been shot.

It is quite clear with that Vincent wasn’t the one holding the gun.

Back at The Fields

Lost in contemplation, Armand’s thoughts are broken by Marguerite Gachet who emerges into the fields.

I was thinking how come you lied if you have got nothing to hide?

Marguerite breaks the bubble by filling Armand with the details.

The truth is I am not important. He wasn’t some lovelorn teenager.

She tells him about her father Doctor Gachet, a wannabe artist who tried to be one all his life. It bothered Gachet that a man like Vincent who had just started painting two years ago was painting so well whilst he still struggled with it. He would copy Vincent’s paintings in his room trying to reiterate what was painted.

Gachet believed that Vincent was not to be distracted and often asked Marguerite to leave so as to stop her from becoming an obstacle to the creation of masterpieces.

Vincent and Gachet had a terrible row once for which Marguerite believed she was the cause.

Maybe my withdrawal had soured things.

To which Armand replies:

You are not to blame. You have no part in it.

Overlooking Life

Armand so far truly believes that it was Rene who had shot Vincent, as all the evidence suggested. Marguerite replies:

So lonely Vincent resorts to hanging around with drunken teenagers and he gets shot. Or he shoots himself in despair at his lonely life. The result is the same.

And what she says is so true if you listen to her carefully. You can’t change what has happened. The resultant eventuality cannot be deterred. The death has happened, his life has been taken. You can’t do anything about it now.

To Armand’s obstinacy about finding the culprit at any cost, she says:

You want to know so much about his death, but what do you know of his life?

Armand just knew that Vincent tried really hard to fit in, to prove that he was good at something. That’s when Marguerite explains why she chooses to take flowers at his grave. Because she knew that Vincent appreciated it, even the beauty in triviality.

No detail of life was too small or too humble for him. He appreciated and loved it all.

Doctor Gachet

Finally, Armand gets to meet Doctor Gachet in person in Loving Vincent. As he is about to take the letter from Armand’s hand, questions begin to roll out from a well-researched Armand’s mouth. It is time to hear the truth.

Doctor Gachet explains that Vincent was a victim of melancholia.

Sufferers can change from feeling life is a wondrous joy to being stuck in a pit of despair within six hours.

There are counter statements to everything Armand lays on the table. He begins to understand that Vincent was lonely. That there was a mask Vincent would wear at times to stay joyous, but deep down things were different.

Underneath he was deeply afraid of the future of his own and Theo’s.

Vincent felt he was trouble for Theo since the latter was paying his bills, even as Theo supported his vision. He was becoming a liability owing to his dream. Theo could have had a great life had he not spent money on Vincent all those years.

He knew Theo had spent a small fortune on him. The knowledge of this tore into Vincent.

The fact that Vincent wasn’t able to provide anything in return broke his heart. He had how Gachet put it:

Rooms full of paintings that no one wanted to buy.

Gachet looked into the soul of Vincent to read him properly.

Vincent’s biggest fear was that the burden of him would bring down his brother.

Gachet shuts off Armand’s belief of Vincent being shot (the Mazery theory) by saying it was Vincent, the bloke who always did the improbable. That it was highly likely Vincent had shot himself. On furthering the queries, like this one:

Why would he say there’s no one to blame unless he thought someone might be blamed?

The Truth Behind the Suicide

Gachet reveals the real truth then. That Vincent was trying to save Gachet if fingers were to point at him for the suicide.

I think he took his life to try and save Theo because of something I had said.

They were in an argument where Vincent called Gachet an artistic fraud, since he wanted to be an artist, but he ended up studying medicine because he could never stand up to his father.

Vincent said I was living a lie whilst he lived and struggled for the truth.

Furious at what he had said, Gachet was forced to slip in a piece of harsh truth. That Theo was suffering from Syphilis, and that any sort of mental or financial stress would kill him.

What do you think the burden of worrying about you is doing to your brother? It’s quite likely killing him. That is the price of your truth, the price of your path as an artist. Is it worth it?

Those harsh lines were it. Vincent turned around and left, as Gachet realized his big mistake. He didn’t know then that Vincent would do something so huge like taking his life.

Maybe it is better for everyone.

We see a shattered Gachet on Vincent’s deathbed. There are so many thoughts that are going through his head. Had he not said something so bitter, Vincent would have been alive and painting.

Words can really kill people. If it is a real loss of talent, it hurts everyone. Crippled by the situation and marred by a financial crisis, Vincent slipped into the arms of death. He didn’t want to be any trouble, and taking his life felt to him the only way he could have seen to it.

A Letter for a Letter

As a parting note in Loving Vincent, Gachet offers Armand one of Vincent’s letters from the time he had started his journey to become an artist. This is what the letter contained:

Who am I in the eyes of most people? A nobody, a non-entity, an unpleasant person. Someone who has not, and never will have any position in society. In short, the lowest of the low. Well then, even if that were all absolutely true, then one day I will have to show by my work what this nobody, this non-entity has in his heart.

There’s a little discussion by the end of Loving Vincent movie between the Roulins. The father and the son have a chat about Armand failing to land a job. Armand says he was asked by Lieutenant Milliet (Robin Hodges) to enlist since he could throw punches.

Armand: I am good at fighting, aren’t I?
Joseph: Roulin’s have always been that. The trick is to know what you are fighting for.

Joseph looks at the star and makes this amazing statement then.

 There’s a whole other world up there. Something we get to gaze upon but don’t fully understand. It reminds me of him. It feels wrong all that life snuffed out because of a stupid accident.

Armand is more interested in the loving part instead.

What I am wondering is if people will appreciate what he did.

Will we revere Vincent for his work and not for taking his own life? Accident or not it doesn’t define Vincent. His work does. There should be immense veneration in us for that, and for the fact that how artists like him struggle to follow their dreams owing to hindrances like Vincent faced.

Loving Vincent movie Vincent Van Gogh painting in the rain

Vincent’s Final Letter

In the end, Jo writes to Armand touched by his acts after successfully receiving the letter from Gachet. She made a copy of the letter by Vincent that Armand had been carrying around all this time. It was only fair for him to read after he had done so much.

This is what the letter contained:

In the life of the painter, death may perhaps not be the most difficult thing. For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about it. But, the sight of the stars always makes me dream. Why I say to myself should those spots of light in the firmament bet inaccessible to us? Maybe we can take death to go to a star and to die peacefully of old age would be to go there on foot. For the moment, I am going to go to bed because it’s late, and I wish you goodnight and good luck with a handshake, your loving Vincent.

The Bitter Truth

Loving Vincent Movie’s final gavel drops with the following statement that reads itself on the ending placard.

In the 8 years between starting to paint and his death, Vincent painted over 800 paintings, only one of which was sold in his lifetime.

Isn’t that tragic?

It literally rips you apart when you think of it. How unfortunate was the poor artist! How unfortunate, many of us are! Trying to be heard all our lives, but no one is listening. All we find are deaf ears and blind eyes who can neither hear or see the work we do.

Vincent was posthumously proclaimed the father of modern art. The bloke was ahead of his time. It only makes you wonder if death’s the only thing that does you justice. That name and fame always end up staying behind. Nobody gets what they need, then what’s the point?

If you are an artist you are probably thinking, what of my time? All that I have invested will that be rewarded after I pass away? How is it fair?

You can order Loving Vincent movie from here:

The Illusion of a Real Camera in Loving Vincent

It is hard not to notice how the directors of Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman chose to showcase paintings as if they were shot on a real camera. Right from the effortless panning movement to zooming in from a distance, it all feels as if a camera found its way back to Vincent’s historical leaflet.

If that weren’t enough the sound department does an equally fine job, giving us an illusion that there indeed is a camera.

For instance, the very first scene that celebrates Vincent’s enormously famous painting The Starry Night. The frame seems to pan over the city literally bringing the painting alive. As it proceeds to meet the protagonist we could clearly hear the low whirring of insects and birds nestled in the tree from The Starry Night. As we proceed towards the sound of the city brimming with people’s talk, you could hear that whirring noise fade in the backdrop. I mean how careful is that! You can’t appreciate the sound editing and mixing enough.

Then the paintings have painstaking detail in them. Like they don’t even leave out the reflection of a man in a window pane. They have even captured the illusion of wind, smoke, clouds, shadows, reflections on water, of the tiniest of movements. How eyes look when they roll, how the shadows find their way into people’s faces when the light is falling from behind. How different people look when they are moving. The detailing is just magnificently meticulous.

All the memories in Loving Vincent have been done in black and white and they look absolutely stunning. They are simply pressed against reality.

The Extraordinary Music of Loving Vincent

Before I end this incessant ranting of admiration, I will take a moment to admire Clint Mansell’s extraordinary music. It gives you goosebumps. They have been beautifully composed and so well placed they are!

You are compelled to sway with the scene. That’s what true talent should make you do. To take you inside the movie to make you connect and relate. Loving Vincent movie does that owing to Mansell’s beautiful compositions.

You can listen to one of my favourites here:

The Final Verdict

Loving Vincent movie is literally the epitome of art itself. It is a brilliant tribute to one of the finest artists the world has ever seen. To those who don’t know him, it is a perfect way to get acquainted. I highly recommend watching Loving Vincent to understand, know and revere the guy who was way ahead of his time.

If you like the Loving Vincent analysis and review, please check out our other movie analyses

Ferdinand Movie Review (2017) | A Pacifist’s Tale in a Violent World

Surprisingly a good movie! I would be honest with you. From the trailers, I didn’t expect much from Ferdinand Movie.  But I was wonderstruck when I actually saw it. Watching it become a powerhouse of emotions as the movie progressed, I knew I had been dead wrong. That a movie should not be judged by its trailer, just as no book should be judged by its cover.

Ferdinand movie didn’t pack in as many jests as you find in animated movies nowadays, but it was a great entertainer nevertheless. It was successful in walking a tightrope of emotions. That’s where its true strength lurked. When you focus on other parts critically you realize there were tons of issues strewn around the movie as well. But all of that can be overlooked once you become the bull the movie cashes in on, and try to empathize with that creature who doesn’t share his dream based on his appearance, rather stands by his decision to see what others fail to.

Story and Characters

Not everyone is same. We have been wired differently. Whilst a father wishes to be something, his son might not share his dream. He might have a dream of his own. Everyone has a choice. That very fact forms the basis of Ferdinand movie.

You can’t decide or judge someone by their size or appearance. What you can’t see, their brain, in fact, holds the key to their vision.

Ferdinand movie wallpaper

Place that impactful storyline into animation and you have got an enjoyable hoot to savour. That’s what Ferdinand does with its bull, the protagonist voiced by John Cena. He is an out of place animal who doesn’t share other’s dreams.

Bullfighting in Ferdinand Movie

Either you are a fighter, or you are meat.

What you might call as someone’s dream is a brilliant mockery of materialism. In the movie, the dream of fellow bulls is to fight the matador. Whilst the bulls in the flick fail to see the pointlessness of it, (like all the people who consider bullfighting a sport) Ferdinand in his blatant sense of indifference towards the game, digs up the real truth behind it. They are all ending up getting slaughtered! Just as we had seen in Sausage Party, the blind followers are all prepping up to die.

Sure, you get to fight in a magnificent stage, but it’s just another chop shop!

Ferdinand movie uncovers the ugliness that surrounds the sport in a way that will leave you teary-eyed.

Ferdinand is all about saving the meek, helping others. He is finding it hard to explain it to others why he is the way he is. Doesn’t that chime in with life? I don’t know, like your very own? How many times have you felt that way? As if you are in someone’s else body, forced to live someone else’s dream. Are you fighting for it?

It’s good to see someone is. Ferdinand is willing to leave no stones unturned to make the world understand he is not like the others. He is different. Violence his not his place even though he has been bedecked with a body that leaves the onlookers marveling.

Look at your pecs! They are like two tiny bulls inside a bull.

But the world, being the world, judges Ferdinand by the way he looks and brands him as destructive.

A Glance at Life

Ferdinand is given a shot at identifying his life the way he wishes to live it. He finds it in a place right next to Nina voiced by Lily Day. That’s where he wishes to be – In a patch of land where a bull is chosen over a dog, Nina teaches Ferd the Nerd what love is all about.

Is this love? I love love.

It’s that taste of life that helps the bull in registering home – not where you are born but where you are supposed to be.

Ferdinand and Lupe in Ferdinand movie

Deprived of the life he desires to lead, Ferdinand is picked up and dropped at Ground zero once again. He ends up in Casa del Toro, the place that he had escaped from, to be prepped up for bullfighting, something he is not cut out for. Unable to understand what the fuss is all about Ferd tries to escape a bull’s fate, but ends up drawing himself closer to the inescapable sport. Lupe voiced by Kate McKinnon is one of those weird funny characters, who brings in most of the punches and stays close by.

El Primero (Miguel Angel Silvestre) is in search of a bull to fight his final fight. Marking Ferdinand as a perfect contender he awaits him in the center of all applause.

Even though the main villain brings that heightened sense of befitting contrast to Ferdinand’s character, you realize it is a typical cliched build-up that you have often seen in countless movies in the past. El Primero might have reminded you of Anton Ego from Ratatouille if only he had better words to say. The screenplay of the flick, unfortunately, isn’t impressive and hence framing him as a villain to remember is something you might want to reconsider.

The Final Showdown

What tears you apart is the final face-off that puts the bull against El Primero. While there’s an imminent death written in the frames, the demeanor of the bull is enough to shatter you into pieces. The multitude is busy cheering the one with the sword, but they easily forget that the one fighting without is a true champion.

Ferdinand refuses to fight back despite being instigated. There is this moment where he loses it and almost becomes what he dreads. He comes back to his senses when he steps on a flower and realizes that he is no matador. That he is no killer. He was never one. That nothing could make him go rogue. He submissively leaves himself at the mercy of the sword waiting to be lanced.

That scene would force you to erupt in tears if you have been holding them too long. It’s trying to say –

I will not stop being good. No matter what you do. I will die before succumbing.

It’s hard not to die inside a little when the matador decides to lance Ferdinand. That’s one of the saddest scenes in the movie as the bull puts out his heart to accept his fate. But he is saved by the very people who came to watch him die.

Eventually, we find the bull bringing in everyone to show them that one place that he had fallen in love with. That’s what you do. You open eyes of the people around to show them the magnificence of what you see.

ferdinand movie scene

Messages and Theme

There are plenty of messages inscribed in Ferdinand movie. Apart from those that have been mentioned earlier, it presses the vein of animal cruelty the most.

A lot of wrongdoings happen in the name of culture. You take any boisterous festival out there and you would end up finding something noxious clinging to it.

Things have been written in our flesh, our brains marked with all the conventions, that make parting with them difficult. But if we open our eyes, really open our eyes to see what’s being done in the name of religion, culture and conventions, we will perceive how many innocents suffer because of our drunken disregard.

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From the perspective of mankind all of the things we do seem justified. But when you start noticing things from the perspective of everything that lives and breathes, you begin to empathize. You realize it stands true for right about everything in our life.

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

Issues with Ferdinand

Apart from the fact that Ferdinand does not score well in the screenplay enclave, it has a lot of other problems as well. The point where it introduces its characters Una, Dos and Cuatro seems a tad forced. There are a lot of times the humour fails to squeeze out a laugh. There are cheesy lines aplenty and a lot of cliched things strewn all across the movie that might bother some.

Also, Ferdinand is not bold enough to kill its characters. Like it resurrects Guapo even though it would have been an extraordinary icing to play with people’s emotions. Still, Ferdinand chooses to save its characters as if it aimed at making the movie entirely for kids in the first place. It’s a family movie that saves everyone and makes sure of all its happy endings in almost all of its frames.

That brings that dance-off scene to mind which was, by the way, totally unnecessary even though how hilarious it was.

The Final Verdict

Ferdinand movie is an eye-opener for all those who have been giving themselves a hard time in a place which is not theirs to hold. The bull is built on that non-violent Gandhian theory that will leave you insanely impressed. He is a pacifist who advocates it in a place that needs it the most.

It is great that the pointlessness of the bullfighting sport comes out in the open. Unfortunately, there are thousands of such festivals and sports celebrated all across the world. Fortunately, it’s a start, and that winds of change can only come from such empathizing depictions.

The message is loud and clear. The question is – are we listening?

Coco Movie Review (2017) | Remember the Forgotten

Pixar still doesn’t fail to amaze! With fancy that could put the fanciful to shame, Coco movie invites applause even by hopping into different universes. It launches with the theme of a dreamer Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who is bent on becoming something he is destined to. Just when you think the movie is going to be all about it, it turns into something more exciting as it progresses.

There are tons of messages inscribed in its alluring run, and even if you choose to overlook them all, you still end up getting an extraordinary passionate tale of love, hope, despair, and valour. All in all, it presses on the penultimate lesson that it carries forever in its womb – Remember the forgotten!

When life gets me down, I play my guitar. The rest of the world may follow the rules, but I must follow my heart.

The Olaf Debacle

First things first, I was in one of the theatres that showed Olaf’s Frozen Adventure prior to Coco Movie. Whilst I am sure it must have miffed a lot of people, owing to how long it played for a short, the short animated film wasn’t really bad exactly. I watched people leave the theatre wondering if they were in the right one. Many got up complaining that they didn’t pay to watch a musical.

There it was! The problem with Olaf! It ran for too long and to make matters worse, it was a musical. Not everybody likes musicals! If at all they had gone for some super humour, people would have actually liked the idea of watching two movies by paying for one. But it turns out to be excruciatingly punishing. Even though, I felt it was kind of alright!

The Coco Movie Magic

Coco uplifts the downed spirits almost immediately when it starts off with a stunner. Watching Miguel’s life is like framing yours in a movie frame, if you have a family who fails to get you. There is the Xolo Dog Dante, with a tongue that wags like a tail, who forever accompanies Miguel wherever he goes. He will bring a smile to your face almost immediately.

You are going to get me in trouble Dante. Someone could hear me! I wish someone wanted to hear me, other than you.

Coco movie xolo dog Dante

Miguel carries in himself a dream to be a singer, convinced it is in his blood.

You know that feeling like there’s a song in the air and it’s playing just for you?

His gusto isn’t shared by the members of his family, and his dream is literally shunned by everyone owing to a past tragedy. Despite their austerity, he still ends up falling in love with it. You know, some things you don’t have control over. You can’t really explain people why you love doing a thing, it is just inbred!

Music tore her family apart. Shoes brought them together.

Day of the Dead (Spoilers)

Convinced that his great-great-grandfather was none other than the insanely renowned Ernesto de la Cruz voiced by Benjamin Bratt, Miguel wishes to prove himself by playing for the crowd for a talent show on the Day of the Dead.

No one was going to hand me my future. It was up to me to reach for my dream, grab it tight and make it come true.

He sneaks into Ernesto de la Cruz’s tomb and steals his guitar. But when he strums it, he ends up entering the Land of the Dead. There he discovers that nobody from the world of the living is able to see him and his dog, and vice versa. But the dead are able to.

Tonight is about family.

Figuring out that the only way to get back to the world of the living is by receiving blessings of his dead family on an Aztec Marigold petal, and that if he stayed up to sunrise he would become one of the deads himself, he approaches Imelda (Alanna Ubach) his great-great-grandmother.  Imelda grants him her blessing however on a condition that requires him not to pursue music. Convinced that Ernesto would think otherwise, he decides to pursue him in the land of the dead.

I am not like the rest of my family. There’s something that makes me different.

Hector

There he encounters Hector voiced by Gael Garcia Bernal who is keen on visiting the Day of the Dead for the mere fact that he was being forgotten. Being forgotten in the land of the dead meant an unavoidable passing away into eternity.

coco movie miguel dante and hector

With promises to help Miguel meet Ernesto, in exchange for letting him take his photo to the land of the living, so that he could see his daughter before passing away, they embark on a journey together.

It has been an honor. I hope you die real soon.

Hector is created as a great companion to begin with, but with Miguel lying to him to fulfill his own motive of meeting Ernesto, he ends up getting trapped in a quandary. Unable to convince Miguel to let his photo be taken to the land of the living, he finds himself pursuing Miguel as the boy finally meets Ernesto.

Our memories have to be passed down.

The Climactic Truth About Ernesto de la Cruz

As Miguel ends up meeting and declaring himself as the great-great-grandson of Ernesto de la Cruz, we perceive him being accepted owing to the beautiful voice he has. However, soon we find out that there’s a huge plot twist. He isn’t exactly the hero he poses to be. In fact, he is an impostor who had poisoned Hector when the latter had decided to go back to be with his family. He had even stolen his guitar and had become famous by using Hector’s works calling them his own.

Hector is a poor bloke deprived of name, fame and his family, misunderstood for not coming back, in fact, he was meaning to, before he was murdered. He was deprived of the credit that he truly deserved.

You don’t have to forgive him, but we shouldn’t forget him.

The reason why Hector was diminishing gradually was because he wasn’t recognized by anyone from the world of the living. Let alone his daughter, Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguia), for whom he used to dedicate all his songs. Coco, by the way, is Miguel’s great-Granny who is really old and is suffering from memory loss due to old age.

Ernesto, the prick he is, takes the photo of Hector and throws him into a pit alongside Miguel. There Miguel bonds with his true great-great-grandfather.

One cannot deny who one is meant to be.

With the help of Dante, who turns into his spirit animal, an alebrije, and his dead family, Miguel and Hector are saved. They upend Ernesto’s Sunrise concert and expose him in front of the crowd, as he is crushed by a giant bell just as he was killed in the real world – a poetic justice. However, they are unable to get to Hector’s last photograph as it falls down and disappears.

The Final Moments of Coco Movie

Imelda blesses Miguel to return to the world of the living where he sparks the memory of Coco who is on the verge of forgetting Hector.

Miguel, I give you my blessing, to go home and to forget about music? And never forget how much your family cares for you.

Miguel sings the same song, her father (Hector) used to sing for her when she was a child. It reignites the lost memory helping her to remember, thus bringing Hector back to life….uh….back to the world of the dead i.e. stopping him from passing away into eternity.

Remember me, though I have to say goodbye. Remember me, don’t let it make you cry. For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart. I sing a secret song to you, each night we are apart. Remember me, though I have to travel far. Remember me, each time you hear a sad guitar. Know that I’m with you, the only way that I can be, Until you are in my arms again, remember me.

Coco shows him the missing face from the photograph she had kept for herself because of her love for her father. Miguel’s family accepts Miguel as part of their family again.

all characters from coco movie

Before the curtain falls we fast forward to a time where Coco is no longer there, but her saved letters written by Hector has helped Miguel to publicly denounce Ernesto and revere Hector with all the credit posthumously.

You can order Coco Movie with a bonus content here:

Overlooking Fantasy

Even if you choose to overlook the fantastical story woven in the world of the dead, you still register Coco movie as an impactful story about a child trying to unveil a long overlooked family secret. It is a secret that could change lives!

You take it as his mission, as if Miguel found out the truth behind his true grand-grand-grandpa by coincidence, owing to his love for music, and by interacting with Coco, and you still have a solid proof story to feast upon.

But that’s the beauty of fantasy! It takes you into a world of magic just to elaborate a fair point, and when you get it, you realize how taut it becomes in its structure.

The Forgotten Theory

Pixar has once again tingled our emotions by taking a shot at the forgotten theory, as it had done in the past with Inside Out. It’s a topic that’s immensely saddening. I couldn’t control my emotions when it flared that shot.

Coco movie connected to me on a personal level on so many occasions. I have often wondered about how some people’s deeds resound till eternity. And that’s like an achievement per se when people are remembering you for ages to come. My maternal grandfather late Dr. Ajit Narayan Singh Tomar was a writer like me, but little of his work is left in today’s world. I tried to track him down, but there’s nothing substantial on the internet about him today. For the mere fact that internet hadn’t blossomed during his time, when he was alive and in good health (he had gone blind during old age).

Now I am left with his memories alone, that aren’t as strong as the light he used to propel. I feel really awful that people don’t know him anymore, despite the amazing books he had written and published. I can’t track down his work, and I see people turning a blind eye towards him. As if he was akin to Hector, mistreated during his time.

I don’t want people to be forgotten. The really good ones, they deserve our living time, whether or not there’s an eternity waiting to swallow them. Above all, I don’t want me forgotten, whether or not I do something great in life ahead. It is an intensely disheartening thing! It impels us in a pit that’s devoid of love.

The Final Verdict

A standing ovation to Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina for helming this beauty of a flick. Three cheers for the entire team who made this entire project possible! Coco movie deserves all the love there is in the world. A fantastic film that should not be missed.

Highly recommended!

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Review (2017) | Ninjas Assemble!

Just when you were about to feel there’s no such thing as too many LEGO movies, The LEGO Ninjago movie walks in tall to prove you wrong. It does so with its weird plot rambling. Humour is great, makes you laugh all the time. Doesn’t have to struggle with that part at least. But the story-line of the flick is just sauntering pointlessly and you could feel it in your bones when the movie becomes a sheer exercise in lethargy.

It is long and tedious, with its plot being one of those cliched stories we have seen a dozen times over. It blends different kinds of flicks making spoofs out of them. However, the good thing about it is that the movie is almost intelligently crafted. With elements from real-time, for instance, a cat (Meowthra) making its way into the storyline effortlessly is probably a genius thing to think of about a LEGO city that’s built in a room, of course. That’s where the strength of the movie lies. Also, the animation is done brilliantly. For that, my heart just goes out to all those people who meticulously helped it to reach fruition.

Garmadon

The most cherishable thing about The LEGO Ninjago movie is a character called Garmadon. Voiced by Justin Theroux his perfect comic timing will make you guffaw loudly. It’s created and performed brilliantly. His carefree reckless attitude is the best.

I must have butt-dialed you.

Garmadon The LEGO Ninjago Movie

He plays the father to our protagonist Lloyd voiced by Dave Franco. Lloyd is shunned at his school since his dad is a supervillain. But the twist is that it is none other than Lloyd who is the Green Ninja who secretly fights and tries to stop his father from destroying their city Ninjago.

The way the twist is shown doesn’t feel like a twist, actually confuses people till they get it.

Lloyd: You ruined my life!

Garmadon: That’s not true! I haven’t even been a part of your life, how could I ruin it? I wasn’t even there.

Editing of The LEGO Ninjago Movie (Spoilers)

The story of The LEGO runs for too long pointlessly. That’s where the editing becomes questionable. It stretches too much with a neverending plot which seems to go nowhere with Garmadon the villain often bouncing to and fro, becoming the good and the bad guy himself. Then eventually we find out that the villain isn’t him but a cat. So that was a bummer! But from the vantage of the LEGO creatures, it all seems legit.

We could have removed many things, to be honest, and made the movie short and sweet. The time we see the second big assault happen and we find the Ninjago team getting badly ripped, till that point of time, The LEGO Ninjago Movie feels absolutely great. But then Master Wu (Jackie Chan) jumps in and the training begins which feels like a dispensable spread.

To make matters worse Garmadon, the badass villain he was, takes the journey alongside his enemies, helping each other out getting in on that estranged father-son bond.

Lloyd: On scale of one to ten, how bad is it?

Garmadon: Oh, I’d say it’s about a seven….point…..arm ripped off.

Most of the parts are too stupid to believe, that’s what forces you to stop taking any of it seriously. The secret Ninja force feels really useless, to be honest, with Zane being pointlessly robotic. I think he was chosen to be a robot for just one punch line.

The Mom is a Superhero too!

While some might have found it cool, I found it absurd. As if things weren’t gaudy already. Mom (Koko) voiced by Olivia Munn was a superhero and a role model of Nya. Another one of those dispensable sub-plots that were deliberately trying to make the movie something it wasn’t in the first place.

He was so ambitious. He said he wanted to conquer the world. I thought it was a figure of speech.

Owing to that the movie runs for an absurd amount of time. Such subplots are brimming aplenty and that’s what gnaws at the tale. Although it is understandable that they ultimately complement the story, and hence were chosen.

You can order the movie from here:

The Prologue and Epilogue Real-Time Angle

Another part that might have miffed a lot of people could be that dispensable prologue and epilogue part where real-time characters of Mr. Liu (Jackie Chan) and a child show up. Even though it feels like that imagining a story feels better that way, you could tell it was deliberately punched in to justify the cat angle. It was Mr. Liu’s contempt for his cat that ended up turning it into a villain.

Even though the usage might have slightly helped with the plot, you could feel an evident need to remove it, being an animated movie completely. The story in a story bit, we could have done without. Some things should be left to viewer’s imagination.

There is nothing out of the box about the story and it goes on inexplicably into a territory a subtle writer could have easily avoided. But the clever things remain limited to the cat and….okay that’s it.

The Lego Ninjago Movie Gang

Master Wu’s face always seems like it is smiling, an apparent artistry error. It becomes hard for you to concentrate on the serious things he says with a smiley face. I had a hard time listening to him and then slapping that face on him just made it worse.

The Final Verdict

The LEGO Ninjago movie is fun, no doubt. But there are so many issues with the movie that makes it less of a movie, more of a childish fancy, very similar to the stories we used to make, playing with our LEGOs. That being said, it is almost intelligent. But what stops it from becoming outright ravishing is its stretchy plot, and its numerous issues.

Au contraire, what makes it really worth watching is the one and only hilarious character – Garmadon.

Miss The LEGO Batman Movie? Read its review.

Check out the trailer of The Lego Ninjago Movie here:

Batman and Harley Quinn Movie Review (2017) | Worst DC Animated Movie Yet

Batman and Harley Quinn movie is hands down one of the worst DC animated movies yet. It is demeaning and disparaging to all the characters in the DC universe. A Batman flick deserves a better story and dialogues, goes without saying, a character like Harley Quinn deserves a better movie. The humour is so not funny. It makes you feel as if a 12-year-old wrote its screenplay. Things don’t make you laugh but force you to shake your head so many times, I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up with a cramp in your neck.

It is that picture that Sam Liu paints with the flick about its characters which just makes the whole movie outright repulsive. Even though you try to hang on, just to see if there’s some surprise lurking in the corner, eventually you find out that everything’s plain stupid.

The Absurd Batman and Harley Quinn Movie Theme (Spoilers)

The theme of Batman and Harley Quinn movie, you can tell, is deliberately kept funny. Like even when there’s a serious scene going on, when the story is about to unfurl, a guy walks in to clean the table stopping the flow to point out that he was a big fan of Batman. As if that was necessary! You can feel that the movie brazenly tries to be funny and that’s one of its biggest mistakes.

still from Batman and Harley Quinn movie of guy who cleans the table

Then there’s that hunting down Harley montage wherein Nightwing keeps asking different types of people about Harley’s whereabouts. It returns absurd answers. It’s hard not to see through it all as to why the director decided to put that scene in there. But in doing so he poses Nightwing as a loser. As if his detective skills took a toll or something.

All of which seems quite alright actually until the kinkiness comes into play. Nightwing becomes a character that you can’t take seriously, and it’s a constant tumble thereon. Batman with Barbara in The Killing Joke, I can forgive that any day. It had at least some solemnity to it. But this is just plain unforgivable!

We see Harley going so gross she even starts farting in Batsy’s car. Why was that indispensable?

The Pointlessness

They create one whole scene of a pointless chase for a joke that wasn’t funny. Then a scene to retrieve information from a contact in a pub, where Harley sings a full song which runs more than 2 minutes, in the end dropping the mic to look cool. I mean why is the humour so tasteless and cheap?

It even goes on to expect the audience to feel sorry for a worthless character who wasn’t even given a proper screen time for us to actually feel sorry for. The reason you ask? Just to show how good Harley is even though she advocates supervillains.

The plot of Batman and Harley Quinn movie is basically trying to drive a story towards an environmental issue, which is supposed to be a good thing. But somehow the work doesn’t end up becoming convincing. The plot is void of thrilling moments. Batman doesn’t feel like Batman. Nightwing doesn’t feel like Nightwing. The rest of the cast follows suit.

The Climax

still of Swamp Thing in Batman and Harley Quinn

Swamp Thing‘s entrance is grand and his import in the DC lineup story is preserved which is probably the only good thing I could think of from the movie. That and the fact that Harley Quinn is kept loony as we want her to stay.

Another good thing I would say is the presence of Floronic Man who, I am glad, isn’t a moronic man. The only good villain in the movie who stands true to what he set out to do – villainy. Jason Woodrue is serious about turning the world into plants and he sticks by it till the end. Poison Ivy, on the other hand, the main villain calling the shots ends up having a change of heart.

You can order the movie from here:

Eventually, the final scene of Batsy and Nightwing kissing Harley for a dumb-genius idea (which Batsy being the world’s greatest detective could have easily thought of) would make you want to marvel at the idiocy once again. It is dripping with all the writer’s love for Harley, you can tell. That’s the only thing to make out from that. No subtlety! I really wish DC starts hiring some good writers for the job.

The Final Verdict

You can choose not to watch this movie. But if you are a DC aficionado and you can’t help yourself whenever a DC flick shows up, you can go ahead and stow this flick into your collection. But trust me this movie doesn’t deserve to be there.

As a final say, I would say, the jests are not up to the mark. The storyline is a complete dud. The fact that characters are messed with, ends up making the animated flick a huge bummer. There is a not a bit of seriousness anywhere which ends up taking away all its mojo. Villains don’t feel like villains. And Harley is intentionally loaded up with jokes that are not at all funny.

Check out the trailer of Batman and Harley Quinn movie:

Cars 3 Movie Review (2017) | A Story of Selflessness and Sacrifice

Cars 3 movie is a serious improvement over the prequel we saw six years ago. It has a better story to tell. There are even selfless life lessons to learn from here and even though Cars 3 movie is a tad slow for some people’s taste, it races past all the waving flags to count as a good entertainer nevertheless.

The main theme of Cars 3 movie this time isn’t about chasing your own dreams, rather taking a back seat to identify other’s. Its selfless culminating point holds as the nub of the story it intends to bring the protagonist up to speed with. It is more about making a colossal sacrifice by being altruistic and focusing on those who are in need of their shot at life.

While I choose to take away the good from the flick, the movie isn’t all impeccable either. The fact that it chooses to be nostalgic for most of the part about a crucial character’s demise, it ends up becoming a dispensable drag. Even the humour part sees a major setback. With literally few races to hold the story up taut, it becomes more of a setup to reach its unpredictable end. Anyhow, there are gorgeous lessons inscribed in it that makes the flick a thoughtful creation.

Lessons to Take from Cars 3 Movie (Spoilers)

The screenplay of Cars 3 movie has been beautifully written. There are some great bits that will straighten up your ears. There is so much to take from the movie that it makes you once again hopeful for life.

You can’t turn back the clock, kid. But you can wind it up again.

The time when Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) breaks it to Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) about her dream to become a racer was one of the best parts of the flick. She tells him that it was her nervousness and self-dubitation on finding herself huddled up against the likes of great racers, that took her away from her dream. When she asks McQueen how did he handle it, McQueen replies:

I never thought I couldn’t.

There wasn’t even a morsel of self-doubt in McQueen, and that’s why he never failed in life. He used to be nothing but an embodiment of confidence, and his decisive nature and undoubting acts helped him to win countless races.

still from cars 3 movie

The Fuel of Confidence

If you think about it, that’s how life works too. The absence of self-doubt and fidgeting will get you there where you wish to be. If there is even a hint of trepidation in your thoughts, you will end up not doing good at whatever you are pursuing. Be confident, sure of what you are doing and you will succeed every time!

Don’t ever think about whether you could make it, just know that you were made for it. You are a paragon of power, that’s how you were made! You will never fail if you don’t doubt yourself.

I decide when I am done.

But then McQueen experiences failure and self-doubt in the form of a patronizing Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) who shows him the ugly side of life. McQueen realizes that he isn’t good enough on the tracks and that no matter how hard he tried his speed was never up to the mark. We find him being surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty. And that continuously stays with him even when he was training alongside Cruz.

You can order Cars 3 from here:

The Selflessness

Then there was that big unselfish act in the end that makes you revere McQueen even more. On realizing Cruz’s true potential he gives her a chance to show her mettle and chooses to become what Doc was for him – a mentor. She proves herself by coming first in her first race, and that’s when you realize that every movie about your hero or legend retiring is about them seeing something in someone else, and letting them bear the torch.

Up until Cars 2, the franchise had always been about Lightning McQueen faltering and then rising up again to come over his fears to become the best all over again. It used to be all about McQueen and we just loved to see him bite on the attention too like all those heroes we look up to. But with Cars 3 movie that monotony was broken. It was a pleasant end something you really do not see coming. But McQueen gives you all the more reason to love him as he makes such an enormous sacrifice by letting Cruz have her chance at her dream.

It is so hard to do that because you constantly feel yourself to be the protagonist of your own life. When that bubble bursts for you and you see someone really worthy not getting his/her chance, it’s then you realize that everyone’s life is equally important. That feeling of placing yourself second to make sure justice is served is the best feeling you could get. Cars 3 teaches us to be altruistic and forever be on the lookout for people in need. Help them get what they want if you have been blessed with enough fortune. Everyone deserves a fair shot at life!

still of lightning mcqueen and jackson storm in cars 3

The Final Verdict

Cars 3 is like a phase that every human must go through once in their life. Just like we saw Old Man Logan resting his claws this year, it seems quite fair that every legacy must come to an end. Your prime always finds a calm at one point, and no matter how disheartening it might sound to you, with technology and the posterity taking over, it is one ugly truth that every person must come to terms with.

With the movie trundling down to McQueen’s retirement, (we aren’t really sure as the end alludes that McQueen is going to keep on racing), somewhere deep down we know this that this franchise must rest its bumpers. I think it has been making a fair point all this time with McQueen’s retirement plans to retire a legend. We have milked this franchise enough and it is time for Pixar to start focusing on other projects.

You can check out the trailer of Cars 3 here:

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review (2017) | Entertaining as Ever

Whoever said one is enough. In a world of sequels, prequels and spinoffs, where more is considered to be better, Despicable Me 3 movie storms in like a flick that has still got some juice left. Well, who knew it really had! There are still plenty of things to milk, even though there was supposed to be a happy ending after every part. Plots are layered up deliberately to build something new and tacky, and boy has it worked every time. Luckily even this time it didn’t disappoint.

With a far-fetched plot to introduce Gru’s twin brother Dru into the flick, Despicable Me 3 movie might have seemed a tad absurd from the trailers. But it turns out the movie is quite fun actually. It packs in ample humour if not matching the levels of its predecessors, gives every important character quite a good amount of screentime, making the minions hilarious as ever and builds up a great exciting villain from scratch.

At times you feel the Despicable Me 3 movie drag a little, scrounging for every bit of story it could get, and there are countless occasions wherein you feel the dearth of humour badly. But it manages to hold tightly somehow owing to its calm sense of storytelling. It retains ample focus, constantly letting that smile stay on your face.

Despicable Me 3 Movie Plot (Spoilers Ahead)

For the plot here we have Gru (Steve Carrell) being kicked out from AVL (Anti-Villain League) along with his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) for being unable to capture Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker)even though he manages to save the world’s most expensive diamond. With no jobs to support the family and reluctance to return to villainy, the Minions leave Gru.

Gru comes to discover that he has a twin brother named Dru. He and his family are summoned by Dru for a visit. Despite starting off on a wrong foot he comes to adore Dru for trying to flicker that spark of villainy in him. Lucy is having a hard time being a mother, trying to get on the good side of the kids. Agnes, this time voiced by Nev Scharrel, is obsessed with finding a real unicorn. She finds a one-horned goat slapping that title on it, and loving it profusely even though Gru breaks it to her that unicorns aren’t real.

gru and dru in despicable me 3 movie

Meanwhile, Bratt steals the diamond back, and is on his way to execute his master plan of creating a monster sized version of him to destroy the city and make a major chunk of it fly. Also, as a side-plot, minions get arrested for trespassing from where they escape missing Gru terribly. After which, evil geniuses as they are, make an escape plan to reunite with him.

The Mission to Mess with Bratt

Gru and Dru get on a mission to bring the diamond back from Bratt as Dru beseeches him to teach villainy since it was in their blood. Gru agrees to it only secretly wishing to take the diamond back to AVL to get his and Lucy’s jobs back. They infiltrate Bratt’s den and somehow manage to get the diamond with the help of Lucy leaving Bratt in a sticky situation.

On returning and after saying final goodbyes, taking the diamond away from Dru, having a minor spat with him for not leaving the diamond as a trophy, Gru and his family are all ready to board the plane. That’s when Bratt shows up disguised as Lucy and steals the kids and the diamond along with him.

He progresses with his plan to bring utter carnage by getting into his monster robot version and leaving the kids on a building’s parapet. Gru reconciles with Dru and along with Lucy arrive to save the city. They meet minions on the way who begin following Gru.

Lucy saves the children while Dru internally damages the giant monster robot. Gru involves himself in a “dance fight” with Bratt defeating him eventually as minions explode the giant bubble gums (the weapon of Bratt) to save the city.

still of gru with the diamond in despicable me 3 movie

With diamond restored and Bratt captured, Gru and Lucy get their jobs back. The latter gets acknowledged as mother by the children which elates her beyond limit. Minions find a new villainous leader in Dru as they slink out at night to wreak some wicked havoc.

The Proper Flow

The beauty of Despicable Me 3 movie lies in its proper flow of events. Everything happens for a reason and everything has a natural order to it and they were bound to happen. There is ample focus in the frames, and things are less cartoonish than they used to be in other movies of Illumination Entertainment.

It doesn’t forget the minions even though they revolt and aren’t with the primary storyline of the movie. Directors Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon still find a way to include them by giving them a funny plot to chase. We have a new revolting minion named Mel who is introduced brilliantly into the tale.

You can order the movie from here:


There are important things you can take from the movie too. Gru’s incapability to break a hopeful Agnes’s heart when he wished to tell her about the unicorn’s existence, and then breaking it to her anyway when the chips were down, and Agnes’s acceptance to focus on the good things, her optimistic nature have been beautifully inserted. She is very thoughtful in trying to help Gru by selling her toys to make the difference.

Then there was Lucy’s motherhood, her trying really hard to get on the good side of strangers for children, and eventually getting the respect she deserves by taking a stand against those who tried to harm the kids are well thought of.

The Final Verdict

Illumination Entertainment has been now paying attention to the bridges that were missing from a lot of its previous projects. Despicable Me 3 movie is quite an entertainer. It scores a little bit less in terms of humour but yes its very relatable. You will thoroughly enjoy it.

Check out the trailer of Despicable Me 3 movie here:

 

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