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Pete’s Dragon Review (2016) | A Beautiful Retelling of Petes Dragon 1977

Pete’s Dragon is a beautifully revived and embellished idea that had gone lost in humdrums of life. Disney digs up a lost tale, primps, preens and touches it and lo! It turns green. Green’s a pun-wink of course.

DIRECTION OF PETE’S DRAGON

Enchanting direction! The depth of David Lowery’s direction is simply mind-boggling. His images speak of a winsome quiet, a rare calmness that allows you to feel the warmth of every scene that he tries to show. It is not rushed and retains plentiful focus. It allows you to feast on the magnificence of his settings.

He manages to whisk it beautifully with Elliott‘s, the Dragon’s puppy like demenaour. His ideas can be read through his frames, those that canter on the strides of “What would be the next possible course of action?” He does a fine blend of what is plausible and whimsical and manages to elicit a stunning feat that looks good both in imagination and theory.

PETES DRAGON CAST

Pete’s Dragon brings in the vanguard Oakes Fegley of the Fort Bliss fame, cashes in on his forever seeking eyes. He makes his character quite endearing to watch with that sad comportment he carries. We see him in that mood often throughout the movie, and the yen in his eyes to be home, the longing in his eyes as he looks up searching for Elliott, will have you feel sorry for him on numerous occasions.

still of Oakes Fegley in Petes Dragon movie

Bryce Dallas Howard’s gargantuan affairs continue as she finds herself wrapped in the totem of another reptilian movie right after she did Jurassic World last year. She plays Grace, the lady who tries to help the lost boy in the woods. Her’s is quite a relatable character something you would love to do any day – care for a child who has no whereabouts of his family or, for that to matter, life itself.

Karl Urban as Gavin brings home that nefarious element to the Dragon tale, claiming his pointless right over what he finds and captures. His is a comprehensible role, that you can put a pin to, and get along with, given the circumstances.

Wes Bentley could be found so much engaged in his acting, that you don’t find him doing much in the movie. Robert Redford as Meacham has Dragon glories to share, and his thoughtful comportment will have you listening to him just as kids listened to him in rapt attention. Oona Laurence plays Natalie quite convincingly too, and supports Pete right from the moment she finds him.

THE GREEN FRIENDLY DRAGON ELLIOTT

still of Elliott and Pete in Petes Dragon movie

Last but not the least: The Dragon Elliott. If you have a thing for dogs, you are going to fall for it instantly. Elliot’s acts are just like a dog’s, with its postural manners, playful acts, seeking eyes; everything is going to put it into a contour of an adorable puppy. Its disappearing act comes straight from the 1977 movie, which Disney decided to go with. There are sporadic moments of tranquility when the green dragon flies to show nature at its true flair to Pete. Those images leave you with a sense of contentment. Love Elliott has is unconditional. But it becomes ungainly thoughtful too.

PIECES TO WATCH OUT FOR (SPOILERS FLYING AHEAD)

If you are in the right rhythm of the movie, there are some instances there that you cannot certainly miss. Like the time Pete ends up in town only to storm away in his rare window of opportunity. You can read him well in those fleeting instances where he is cornered by a pacifying Grace, as he howls, nay, wails in pain. That yelp is meant for Elliott but gets lost in thin air. It is so impactful that it will definitely hurl you towards a whirlwind of sympathy for the poor child.

I loved the direction where the falling of Pete with a thud gets followed up brilliantly by the waking up of the Dragon. You can almost feel their connection. Also, the way the movie begins, with that abysmal tragedy that has been so beautifully shown through Pete’s perspective inside the car. The book that Pete carries “Elliott Gets Lost” literally defines his life, and stays at all times, well complemented by the surreal creature.

The fact that the dragon sneezes a bucketful of mucus instead of fire brings home that elemental twist of humour that is laughable. But he is a dragon after all, and he can only take so much. That monstrous mien in the end is aptly fit and only once, just when things begin to head south. However, Disney doesn’t fail to celebrate Elliott with all the goodies, finding its soul to forgive it in a split second.

MUSIC OF PETES DRAGON

This is where the movie truly scores as well. Not only is the score simply soothing to the ears, but it constantly puts you in a room full of jocularity. It has beautiful songs well edited. Lowery places them in right areas that accentuate the theme of Petes Dragon further. One of the most gorgeous songs that the movie retains is the Petes Dragon Song by Bonnie Prince Billy the lyrics of which you can find here: Lyrics of Dragon Song. It will make you fall for it at once. So soothing and artfully written.

DOWNSIDES OF PETE’S DRAGON

If you pay attention to the CGI of the movie, it fails to touch the levels of culmination you might have had in your head, given today’s heightened age of visual effects. Elliott appears to be more fantastical and imaginary. It doesn’t have that primal realism feel to look at, like all those successful reptilian movies in the past that had so beautifully triumphed in visuals.

still of Elliott from Petes Dragon movie

You can’t also oversee the fact 6 years in the wild, and the child still behaves in normalcy. When he finds a group of people coming, he doesn’t run away in sheer fear, also puts things under clouds of doubt. His reaction on finding new things for the first time in town doesn’t get milked enough. He comes straight from the savage world. But still doesn’t carry that bewilderment gaze whilst running and hopping over things he had forgotten all about. Things like that don’t go overlooked when perceived from a pragmatic vantage.

Screenplay of Pete’s Dragon goes to and fro. At times drops us brilliant lines, then most of the times lets its characters speak from their eyes.

PLOT SHORTCOMINGS

Another downside stays with the plot of Pete’s Dragon. It is something you have been constantly fed when a misunderstood beast story is considered. So you see every bit coming. Pete’s Tale is a clichéd story likes of which we had already seen in the form of The Good Dinosaur that Pixar did last year.

But you can’t shake off its backdrop either. It is very plausible which makes it an interesting fiction. It is quite remarkable how every open end in its story gets conjoined.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Pete’s Dragon is a spectacular retelling of the tale that saw the light for the first time in 1977. It doesn’t go dark being a Disney movie, but subtly skips through that part (in the beginning). Petes Dragon incessantly capers around the happy theme that it intends to walk on. Of course, Lowery’s direction makes it all the way better.

If you don’t delve into the clichéd side of it, you are going to love every bit of it. If you are a kid, there is nothing in the world you would want than being bestowed upon a friendly dragon for a pup.

Petes Dragon carries a stunning amiable tone that is outright perfect for your kid. It goes without saying, it is great for the fanciful whims that lurk inside you. A highly recommended movie for everybody.

Check out the trailer of Pete’s Dragon here:

Southpaw Review (2015)

Southpaw is high on punch, but low on script.

Antoine Fuqua’s latest venture isn’t huge or the next best thing in a series of boxing movies we have seen so far. He had a clichéd script with him which he tried to weave into a movie. So what works in his favour and how did he manage to pull it off? The answer – Jake Gyllenhaal. Period.

You can almost read the tenacity in Jake’s eyes, the commitment in his body and the way he pulls anything off. He has gone pro in acting and he wears every skin endeavoring to erase his name, to don a character so brilliantly that people forget the guy under the skin. He creates a new personality altogether that walks, moves and talks differently.

Whitaker does a pretty good job as a trainer. Drama isn’t that great but manages to pull through, at times visiting sentient frames. The movie misses out on imparting gravity to characters like Jordan Mains, Hoppy, Jon Jon etc. who work as mere backdrops to the badass Billy Hope. Escobar played by Miguel Gomez disappears like noise too, since he fails to properly unfurl his limited time perversion.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Some of the badass bits that are worth noticing are – when the flick begins in rad pizazz with Hope listening to music whilst getting wrist wrapped. Ample time is spent on the beginning act which looks pretty dope. Also the aftermath of Billy losing Maureen has been shot pretty nicely. The father-daughter relationship that goes sour has been properly depicted by both Jake and Oona’s acting prowess. The boxing matches are pretty great to watch. Thrilling and the way it should be – natural.

Southpaw loses out on intensity. The story is quite clichéd and the screenplay doesn’t raise brows. At the end of it becomes nothing but mediocre. If it weren’t for Jake Gyllenhaal’s awesome acting, the movie could have simply passed as yet another boxing movie where the actor is bent on seeking redemption.

Go watch it if you love boxing, or Jake. 😉