Reviews written by registered user
|26 reviews in total|
I noticed something peculiar about the dozens of theatre audience
members I saw "Samsara" with. During the end credits, most of them
didn't leave right away. Some people left, but when the credits were
over, there were still a lot of people, including me, of course. Is
this normal? Isn't it usually the opposite where many people leave a
theatre during a film's end credits with maybe some people staying
until the credits are over? My best guess is that these people who saw
"Samsara" with me were deeply moved by the film like I was. Maybe the
people who left during the credits were moved, too. Whatever people
generally thought of the film for that screening, their behaviour at
the end was unusual.
"Samsara" is a perfect example of how powerful a film can be without words. There almost aren't any here. It relies on camera shots, editing, and music. They go together like bread and wine. Ron Fricke documents various countries on the planet like China, Jordan, and Brazil. There's lots to see. Factory workers, dancing prisoners, marchers, big cities, custom-made coffins, etc. People sometimes look at the camera like in my all-time favourite film "Koyaanisqatsi", another documentary which is similar to "Samsara". Ron Fricke also had a big hand in it.
What does the title mean? According to the Free Dictionary website, it means, "The eternal cycle of birth, suffering, death, and rebirth." I see how it ties into the film, such as the scene of children being baptized and the aforementioned coffins. One of the coffins looks like a friggin' gun and is used for a funeral. Guns and bullets are shown in the film, as well, which is also connected to the title. However, if we take away the title, would I still be able to identify themes from the film? Probably. Before writing this review, I admittedly didn't have much of an idea as to what the film is trying to say and I didn't know what the title meant. Maybe the film is trying to represent this planet. I like that idea.
It goes without saying that I watched "Samsara" in awe. My eyes were open wide. I nearly cried not near the end, but near the beginning. I wanted to reach out to the screen. Hell, I wanted to be in the film. I really don't think it's heavy-handed. It's rather subtle. As I wrote in my review of "The Tree of Life", I don't often have an extremely mesmerizing cinematic experience. Well, I'm incredibly thankful I got to have it again.
The most striking aspects of "Telly" are its surrealism and animation.
I don't think I've seen a film, short or long, that looks quite like
this. Maybe someone else could draw a comparison, but I can't. The
story, although kind of hard to describe, has to do with a little girl
living with her father. The girl builds this television and... I guess
she becomes possessed by it? Try watching the film and figuring the
I financially supported "Telly" (just a bit) on the website Kickstarter before its release. I apparently forgot that it's completely digitally animated as opposed to handmade. It looks pretty handmade, though. As it turns out, this look is what the maker Evan Mather was going for. A strong testament to his skill as an animator. "Telly" may not be extremely heartfelt, but it still does a solid job of telling a weird story with weird animation.
You might be taken aback by my comedic summary regarding my vote to
"The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)". I guess it's my way of
dealing with this horrifying and utterly bleak film, which must be at
least partly related to why black comedy exists; people need to amuse
themselves and others to cope when it comes to something like this
film. It could easily be why the first one is parodied on "South Park"
in the enjoyable episode "HUMANCENTiPAD". In the New York Times
interview "A More Perfect Union", writer and director Tom Six himself
indicated this film has humour, like maybe when there's thunder and
lightning when Martin, the main character, gives an angry facial
expression to someone. I admit I kind of laughed at that, but I don't
think I laughed at anything else. However, I did say things out loud a
few times, like probably "Oh God" in a dismaying manner. More
appropriate, I think.
Martin is a demented, obese, and non-speaking man, played very well by newcomer Laurence R. Harvey. Martin works as a security guard in an underground parking garage and has a sexual obsession with the first film. Yup, the first film, which Tom Six also wrote and directed. However, whereas that one has three people sewn together ass to mouth, Martin sets out to have *twelve* for his human centipede. Why? For his own entertainment and sexual pleasure. Talk about an unusual sequel. He violently kidnaps some people in the parking garage. There's not a single bystander around, for whatever reason. I'm not sure if I buy that, but then again, I don't know how much realism Tom Six was going for. Martin keeps his centipede victims in a warehouse and eventually combines ten of them together, which makes my summary even more suitable.
"The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)" is in black and white. If it was in colour, especially with little or even no altering, the film would've still been bleak, of course, but as it is, boy, is it bleak. In a good way, nonetheless. It *sort of* reminds me of "Eraserhead", a David Lynch film I really admire. Both are eerie, weird, in black and white, don't have much dialogue, involve an infant or two, and have each main character living in an apartment. "Eraserhead" is weirder and definitely not as violent, though. If David Lynch saw this film, I wonder what he would think about it.
If I look away when watching a film, it's usually because the film doesn't have me interested and not because there's something way too repulsive happening on the screen for me to even look at. With "The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)", I never looked away, though I almost did because it did get a bit too boring. Nonetheless, it's mostly effective with its unorthodox storytelling, grungy and downbeat look, and the acting. (I had a bit of trouble believing the couple at the beginning, but that's a nitpick.)
There's a lot of human suffering and it largely comes from the victims in the warehouse. Even though they seriously lack characterization, I did care about them, at least somewhat. No sane person wants to go through their ordeal. I should mention I really enjoyed the first film. Even though the victims also lack characterization, they have more going for them and I strangely felt more sorry and supportive for them. It's probably because their pain wasn't overwhelming, they're main characters, and there's more focus on them potentially escaping. Here, the story is told mostly from Martin's perspective. He's definitely not somebody to root for. Why is he twisted? What's wrong with his sexuality? His sexual abuse by his father, whom we don't see in person, probably has something to do with those questions. Probably abuse by his mother, as well, whom he lives with. Yeah, this film hardly explores his past.
How come we never see Martin talk? I don't know. I actually don't consider it a flaw, however. I'm so used to main characters talking in films and with the different way it's done here, I didn't mind. He's implicitly characterized, but at the same time, his behaviour is pretty unsurprising. I don't think main characters necessarily have to be likable as if they're a close friend, but they should be interesting, one way or another. It actually seems like we're suppose to feel sorry for him at times, like when his mother lays blame on him to an angry neighbour over something *she* did. I guess Martin deserves some pity there, but when it comes to the film as a whole, you'd probably be wishing him death or having him locked away in a mental institution. I pick the latter. Maybe it'd be interesting if his past was explored and if he used to normally talk, what his dialogue was like, but as the film is, I'm okay with him *as a character*.
I didn't like or dislike "The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)". It's well shot, even though shots are depressing as hell, especially in black and white. I doubt the film is trying to say anything about someone who's inspired by violence in films to use violence in real life. I don't think the film absolutely should, either. In the aforementioned New York Times interview, Tom Six said that such a person is already insane. He's probably right. In an interesting way, this film ends ambiguously, which I won't spoil how, but the third and final film that's in the works will apparently begin with this film's ending, just like how this one begins with the ending of the first. This trilogy is Mr. Six's film centipede. What the heck is he gonna do with the last one? Maybe it should be a musical.
Those comparisons actually aren't mine. I saw "Redline" courtesy of the
Toronto After Dark Film Festival and the presenter used those
comparisons. A video presentation was also shown of writer Katsuhito
Ishii when he was in the city not too long ago. If he attended the
screening and did a Q&A, I bet there would've been a question on drug
use for coming up with the story or making the film. It's f**king crazy
and bizarre. It's also f**king well-made.
What's it about? My story depiction probably won't exactly tell you the madness you'll be getting into, unfortunately. You'd really have to see it for yourself. Anyway, it's an anime set in a futuristic universe involving people and anthropomorphic creatures racing in vehicles on different planets. I can't really describe any of the anthropomorphic creatures in the film. Maybe some are aliens and some are animals or animal-like? Those are my best guesses. Our protagonist is JP, a male racer with funky-looking hair who tends to be laid-back when he's not racing. After losing a race called the Yellowline, a precursor to the famous no holds barred Redline, it seems like it's over for him. However, he qualifies for the Redline, anyway, which is being held on a planet where its government violently opposes the race. I can hear "The Imperial March" playing in my head when it comes to them. JP, being the daredevil that he is, participates in the big race that's the final scene for the film. Yeah, it's a cliché, but it feels minor to me, especially for this particular film. Added to the story is a nice relationship with JP and Sonoshee, a female racer.
"Redline" was in the works for seven years, as I've recently learned. Wow. I, for one, certainly don't think those years went to waste. The heavily detailed animation is sweet eye candy. Unlike the live action "Speed Racer" film, "Redline" was never overwhelming to look at. In fact, because I had to read its English subtitles, I wish I could've understood Japanese so I could've focused more on the animation. I admittedly had some trouble following the film. There's so much going on and sometimes the subtitles went too fast for me to read. There were a few times where audience members were laughing and I didn't get what was funny. Nonetheless, I did laugh with the audience at times, like when one of the racers on TV is talking with a puppy. Even films that are hard to follow, such as "Inception", can be highly entertaining. On the way home, I laughed to myself over what I just watched. The audience even cheered at least twice. The action is thrilling and that includes the beginning with the Yellowline race despite the lack of characterization. As the film goes on, we do get to know the main characters to a certain extent. JP is likable and down-to-Earth, if you will. There are flashbacks to him as a child, which may also be clichéd, but again, no biggie. Watching the film, I didn't even think of the flashbacks that way.
Looking past the craziness and the animation, does "Redline" have anything meaningful for us to take away? I'm not sure. There could be a moral on leaving a profitable criminal lifestyle, for one. If there's meaning, it's subtle. I can't believe that word comes to mind when this film has a racing vehicle with two breast-shaped windows. "Redline" is probably just utter escapism. Director Takeshi Koike, Katsuhito Ishii, and so on have definitely crafted something memorably wacky. I've never done acid, but I have to wonder what watching this film would be like on that drug. That should probably be best left a mystery.
What a film. It isn't often that I get to have such a spellbinding
cinematic experience. The best two examples of films that are at least
somewhat similar are "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Koyaanisqatsi".
Neither those films and "The Tree of Life" are perfect, but then I
don't think any film is. At the same time, I think they come somewhat
close. However, these films have something very particular in common:
they really bore certain people. I saw "The Tree of Life" with three
guys I know. Two seemed to be unsure what to think of it, but one said
it's among the worst films he's seen. It obviously wouldn't be fair for
me to judge him on that and I showed respect to him. He asked, along
these lines, why would the film spend over two hours for messages on
loving one another and whatnot when they're things we already know? I
didn't have an answer, but maybe it's to embed them into you,
regardless if you already know.
I know little about what a tree of life is. It isn't explained in the film and I don't feel like extensively researching it. Nonetheless, according to Wikipedia, it is "a many-branched tree illustrating the idea that all life on earth is related". This is probably why there is the beginning scene of the dinosaurs and the ending scene of the various people on the beach. The main story focuses on a nuclear family living in a suburban neighbourhood during the 1950s. Brad Pitt plays the father, a strict and hard-boiled man who *can* also be caring and loving. Sean Penn only has little screen time as Jack, a grown-up man of one of the boys in the family who now seems lost in his life and reflects on it. The family in the '50s have their share of ups and downs. There's the occasional and gentle voice-over from a few of them about things like loving, nature, and grace. One particular thing I don't understand is the father(?) and one of the sons in the attic. Even so, I find it interesting and that goes for the other things I don't understand.
The film feels very dream-like with its visuals, music, and voice-overs. Loads of precision must've gone in to make it. It's completely embracing. The characters are believable and I cared about them. To me, the film never drags on. Probably my absolute favourite shot is the spiral of the church glass, even though it's less than a few seconds long. This film will probably be nominated for a few, if not many, Oscars, like Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Picture. Mark my words.
This is a film that has to be watched differently than Hollywood blockbusters. It requires relaxation. You have to experience the film's unusual artistry, even if it can sometimes qualify as art for the sake of art. To me, there's nothing wrong with that, as long as it's engaging. Even though at least a few of the messages are admittedly clichéd, I don't care. The film actually got me thinking about my life, like the joy of hanging out with other guys I really know on the same day before I saw the film. I don't remember the last film that did that, though it was probably "127 Hours". Still, it happens rarely.
I unfortunately haven't seen any of Terrence Malick's other films, but with making "The Tree of Life", it's like he was channeling Stanley Kubrick in a way. Malick must've had a lot of passion. Only time will tell if this film becomes a classic, but I hope it does. I look forward to repeated viewings.
Yes, "Royal Pudding" is another Canadian related episode for the show
and *it is funny*. The recently televised wedding of Prince William and
Catherine Middleton, which I only briefly watched, is parodied with a
televised royal Canadian wedding that involves pudding, which is, of
course, tradition. The deadpan narrator of the wedding frequently uses
that word. However, the wedding is interrupted when a seemingly
extraterrestrial being kidnaps the princess and wrecks havoc. Even so,
the narrator continues his deadpan delivery and usage of the word
"tradition". It's a kind of memorable opening, to be honest. The
kidnapping upsets Ike and he travels to Canada after a call to arms is
issued to Canadians. Ike, therefore, forgoes playing Tooth Decay in Mr.
Mackey's kindergarten play about dental hygiene, which provides a
second story line to the episode.
Those who want to see an episode that focuses on all four boys, particularly Cartman, will be disappointed. Cartman is a great character, but I can perfectly manage with a break of him. As is tradition with the show, the animation and voicework are well done. Both story lines interested me and, as I mentioned, the episode's funny. Mr. Mackey frequently gets angry with his play and curses at the young kids, which works because what kind of school staff member does that, in real life? Luckily, there's only a rare amount of Canadian stereotypes and I liked the one involving Kraft Dinner. This may not be a stereotype, but I thought the makers were gonna make fun of the gruesome beheading and cannibalization of Tim McLean for the bus scene. They didn't, unless there's an allegory at the end, which, by the way, is darkly funny and is traditional humour for the show. One quibble comes to mind and that's watching the kindergarteners rehearse a part in the play three times. If it's suppose to be funny, I didn't really see it.
Is there a point to this episode? Maybe it's that tooth decay is bad (m'kay) and Canada isn't important to America, though I'm probably overanalysing. After watching this episode, I convinced my brother and my dad to watch it. My dad later said he had never seen a complete "South Park" episode. They enjoyed it and I even watched most of it with them.
The real Aron Ralston has admitted this and it's unfortunately true. He
didn't notify anyone that he was going hiking alone one time in 2003,
where he accidentally had his arm pinned by a boulder in a canyon for
five days, and ended up amputating the arm to escape. This is indeed
what Danny Boyle's remarkable "127 Hours" is about. It's one of the
very best films I've seen so far this year.
It begins with Aron, played excellently by James Franco, in his home getting ready for that unbeknownst life changing experience. We see split screens, people running a marathon in fast motion, and other fast motion cinematography that resembles the documentary "Koyaanisqatsi". There's even similar rock art briefly shown. (Could it be the same?) I don't know if there's a purpose for this surreal style Boyle has chosen to open the film with, which is occasionally used for the rest of it, but maybe it's to make your viewing experience and Aron's experience to sometimes feel like a dream. In other words, what's happening to Aron shouldn't be happening, but it is, of course. In any case, I loved the style and the cinematography in general is stunning, but particularly of the canyon and desert. Say, those are more "Koyaanisqatsi" resemblances.
As Aron travels through the desert and canyon, he meets two young women who are lost. He guides them and soon departs. This is the last time he comes in contact with anyone before and during the period of being trapped. A boulder crushes his arm in between canyon walls and he has to survive with the few supplies he has, like a bottle of water and some food. He's saddened, dehydrated, hungry, remorseful, bored, you get the idea. The film turns not much happening into cinematic genius. We feel empathetic for him, engage in what he does and thinks about, like his past, and we imagine that we'd never ever want to be in his position. The film has a neat bag of tricks to show. There are fantasy sequences, like Aron escaping to his ex-girlfriend. He creates a talk show with himself since he brought a video camera, complete with audience responses. I guess it was made for black humour, but I hardly felt like laughing. Of course, he occasionally tries to escape. He uses pocket pliers with a dull knife to chip away at the boulder, but doesn't make progress. In the end, he has no choice but to amputate his arm. It's a particularly powerful and somewhat squeamish scene. I've read that audience members have fainted and have even required medical assistance. I was OK with the scene since I'm used to gory things in horror films and nobody in the theatre I was in fainted. As he's being rescued, I almost felt like crying. The glorious music is partly why. Aron has made it.
I honestly cannot think of any flaws with this film. Aron is portrayed as a likable guy who obviously made a very bad mistake. The reason isn't explained, but maybe it's because he's just a little arrogant. Nothing about the film is pretentious, though. It reminds me of "Into the Wild" and Gus Van Sant's "Gerry", which I both love, although "Gerry" is an acquired taste, for lack of a better term. I swear there's a resemblance in "127 Hours" with a flashback of Aron's friend on a different boulder that he mysteriously climbed up. Actually, I think he has the proper equipment, unlike Casey Affleck's character in "Gerry", but it's still interesting to note.
"127 Hours" is Oscar worthy, particularly for Best Picture. The film is another high point in Danny Boyle's career, along with "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire". (He likes making different films, doesn't he?) I've decided "127 Hours" is also one of my favourite films. I admit I know little about the real Aron Ralston, but he's shown not as a hero, but a survivor.
That's what I did, actually. It enhanced the experience. David Lynch is
no stranger to making commercials and although "Lady Blue Shanghai" was
probably intended as one, it didn't feel like it. It felt more like one
of his surreal films with product placement.
We meet a lady, played by Marion Cotillard, in a Shanghai hotel. She goes to her room to mysteriously find music playing on a stereo. She also finds a Dior handbag that seems to suddenly appear out of nowhere. If you've seen a few of Lynch's films, this already feels familiar, but I wouldn't call it hackneyed. The lady thinks someone is in her room, so she calls the front desk, and two men in black suits investigate the room. They find nobody; then, they talk to her, which leads into flashbacks of the woman in Shanghai. The film was dream-like before, but here's where the dreaminess really kicks in.
It almost goes without saying that Lynch knows how to make these types of films, short or feature length. "Lady Blue Shanghai" works. The actors are convincing without overdoing their performances. The cinematography is stunning and although the blurry slow motion camera shots are a bit distracting, they blend right in with the mood and story. The neon lights during the running scene particularly stand out. And what's a surreal film without music? Dean Hurley and David Lynch's heavenly score is really effective. I can't think of anything pretentious about the film.
Like "Eraserhead", "Lost Highway", "Mulholland Dr.", and "Inland Empire", I don't know if there's a purpose to "Lady Blue Shanghai", other than to advertise Dior. There's something about romance. It's linked to the handbag, but I can't go any further. Well, I don't need there to be a purpose to the films I watch, particularly art-house films. They mainly have to be entertaining in some way. If you can take some commercialism, "Lady Blue Shanghai" will hopefully be a beautiful 16-minute experience. I wonder if and when Lynch will make another feature film.
My experience watching this remake of "I Spit on Your Grave" at the
Toronto After Dark Film Festival is one I'm not likely to forget. I
don't know the exact number of audience members I was with, but there
must've been over 500 of them. Two reportedly passed out, a few walked
out, and there were lots of cheering and sounds of disgust during the
gruesome revenge scenes the lead character Jennifer unleashes upon five
male hillbillies, who cruelly toy with her and rape her. I have only
seen a few films at film festivals, although none were like this; not
even last year's "Antichrist".
I've already described the basic plot of "I Spit on Your Grave", but I'll elaborate more. Jennifer is a writer who travels to a cabin in the woods for relaxation and to work on her next book. She encounters three of the men at a gas station on the way and they immediately show signs of not taking kindly to her. A mentally handicapped friend of theirs named Matthew comes to her cabin later to fix her toilet, which she also conveniently drops her cell phone into. The three other men decide to teach this city girl some kind of lesson and have Matthew lose his virginity to her, but he's sympathetic. It all seems familiar to the original 1978 film, which I didn't care for. There are differences, however. One is ironic as there's a fifth man involved, who's a corrupt sheriff. In the original, there are four, but the poster tagline mistakenly says, "This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned *five* men beyond recognition". The irony with the remake is probably intentional. It may seem like Jennifer's damaged cell phone doesn't even matter, but it's hard to believe the rest of the law enforcement in the town might also be corrupt. Well, I can give a bit of leeway regarding the cell phone because there probably wouldn't have been a film, otherwise.
I wouldn't dare spoil the revenge scenes, but they're more brutal than the original. I don't even want to describe them because of how sadistic they are. Watching them, I felt depressed and repulsed, yet amazed since they feel realistic. As you may have guessed, I didn't cheer with the audience. Despite what these men did to Jennifer, I felt kind of sorry for them. It's like she's treating them way worse. I was lucky enough to briefly speak with director Steven R. Monroe afterward about my different reaction and he told me you're suppose to feel that way. I was kind of relieved, to be honest. I don't remember if he told me not to tell people that, but if he did, I'm sorry. His film is indeed horrific and I don't see what's so wrong about revealing his intention.
This remake is about as simple as the original, but the remake's made better, including the acting. I felt more emotion throughout the entire film. When the men at the gas station break into Jennifer's cabin and toy with her, there's genuine tension. That goes for other scenes that have mystery to them. Jennifer's fear and despair is definitely visible when she's abused and trying to escape. Yes, the characters are pretty one dimensional, but I don't always need great development to take interest. Ambiguity is nice to have. There's actually an interesting twist to the sheriff I won't reveal.
There's unfortunately predictability to this film, like a few minutes of when Jennifer first encounters the sheriff and what she says to the men when she turns the tables. I had some trouble believing that the shed by her cabin happens to be filled with... well, let's just say unsubtle items. The flaws certainly didn't stop me from being shocked and I even was a little queasy after I came home. That really doesn't happen even after watching such graphic and disturbing films as "Cannibal Holocaust", "Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom", "Ichi the Killer", and "Philosophy of a Knife". *There's* a marathon for you. (Just kidding.)
Did I truly like this film? Yes, I did, but it'll probably be several years for me to consider seeing it again, which would mainly be to see how much its shock wears off. If my review has made or helped you to be curious, hopefully you have a good idea of what you're getting into. Before I met the director, I somewhat unexpectedly got a poster of Jennifer holding a hedge clipper shown in the theatre. The director even signed it with my name. It was nice of him, but I won't be putting the poster up in my room. No siree.
Our beloved Pixar really bring out their dark side with the
much-anticipated third installment of their "Toy Story" series. I saw a
few kids in my theatre with dolls and action figures of the main
characters they cherish, but these characters are now faced with an
unfortunate and inevitable scenario; their owner Andy has grown up and
is leaving for college. That's not the only scenario that they face,
too. To be fair, though, this film still has an upbeat tone and has the
wit, adventure, and heart of the previous films. I love this one just
as much as those and maybe a bit more for the emotional ending.
Woody, Buzz, and several other main toys who are still left spend years in a toy box going unplayed with in Andy's teenage modified room. Days before he heads to college, he decides to bring Woody with him and have the others go in the attic. They're placed in a garbage bag and are mistakenly dropped off at the street curve for the approaching garbage truck. Woody tries to re-enact his rescue scene in the second film by getting Buster the dog to help him, but Buster's now too old for this kind of thing and the scene actually got laughs from the audience, including me. The toys save themselves and think it was done on purpose, so they get in the back of the car to be dropped off at a daycare centre where they'll be played with again. Woody hesitatingly joins them and it's all glorious adventure from here on out.
A group of toys and their Southern accented leader Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear run the daycare for the other toys like a fascist prison. (I'm not kidding.) One room has toys that are treated with care from kids and the other is for toys who are treated poorly from toddlers. It's forbidden for toys to crossover and for them to leave the daycare. Guess which room Woody and his pals get? The latter, but they don't know about it since Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear manipulates them with his friendly personality. Woody wants to be with Andy and as he escapes, he's found by a caring little girl named Bonnie, who takes him to her home. At night, a creepy cymbal-banging monkey toy watches over the daycare via security cameras. I know that toy resembles a real one, but I, myself, was still kind of disturbed by it. Will Woody be able to get back to his friends? Will they be able to escape the daycare and get back to Andy in time? Find out when you watch the film! (Don't worry; you won't be left hanging like "Woody's Roundup" show.)
You may get tired of reading this, but the makers at Pixar have done a commendable job yet again. I cared about Woody and his pals like I did for the previous films. The toys keep their personalities, although Buzz experiences the same disorder from the first film and another disorder that kept the audience and I laughing. As I've mentioned, this film has wit and plenty of it, like the grand escape scene at the daycare, especially what Mr. Potatohead does. Pixar always manages to use the perfect blend of storytelling to get a wide audience. Even with a dark tone, I bet "Toy Story 3" will still be a hit at the box office; maybe even one of the highest grossing films of the year. If you're reading this review in 2011 or beyond and it wasn't a hit, then it strangely didn't work for Pixar this time.
I cannot praise the animation enough. It is *ace*. The opening fantasy scene will show you right away with its texture. Since technology has really improved over the last decade, the animators know how to use it. The detail with the landfill scene probably would've been too difficult to make in the '90s. Of course, the main characters we cherish look the same and not blown out of proportion. The animation is one reason the film will, in all likelihood, be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
The film is rated G by the MPAA and Canada's provincial rating boards, but I think it's somewhere between G and PG. Children under six or seven may be frightened by some scenes. The film's darkness is arguably necessary for the main characters as they metaphorically experience the pains of being unwanted from someone who used to love playing with them. As with "Ratatouille", one moral to the story is that family is more important than anything else. Families stick together, no matter what.
Although the film is not without flaws, they feel very minor. I sort of predicted the ending and there are coincidental moments that are done just to drive the story, like how the garbage truck arrives during two conflicts. Kids aren't likely to notice them and will hopefully be engaged with the film like me. Yes, third time is definitely a charm. Just like the first and second films, when you see this one, you may even want to see it again.
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