Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review

Review: I once wrote an abridged history of Beauty and the Beast roots on my review of Christophe Gans’ La Belle et La Bête. How this beautiful French lore has evolved, added more insight and backstories, and represented social issues from time to time alone has already made an intriguing tale. While adaptations and re-imaginings have altered it from the root, there’s one thing that never fades: the magic.

I can’t still see ‘the whys’ of Disney’s decision to remake their Renaissance animation with a live-action feature; yet, I can put aside that concerns. They’ve done it well with Cinderella (2014) by having courage and being kind and staying true to its root; and The Jungle Book (2016) by fulfilling the bare necessities. And for Beauty and the Beast, I can say that this live-action re-telling is not a must, but it’s necessary. Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review”

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Blindspot: Chicago (2002)

“C’mon, Babe, why don’t we paint the town… and all that Jazz!” Velma Kelly sings on the stage.

In the 75th Academy Awards, Rob Marshall’s Chicago triumphed over with six winnings, including Best Picture, overpowering strong contenders like The Pianist, Gangs of New York, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Chicago becomes the second musical to win Best Picture after 1968’s Oliver!; and together with Moulin Rouge, it is responsible for the reemergence of musical film in modern days. Continue reading “Blindspot: Chicago (2002)”

La La Land (2016) – Review

Review: Damien Chazelle – the director of critically acclaimed Whiplash crafts a sharp-witted, jazz-spirited romance in La La Land. It’s a love, no, passion letter to the beauty of music, of cinema, of L.A., and of dream.

La La Land, undoubtedly, is a bunch of happiness, blissful tunes and whoop-de-do wrapped in an ethereal rhapsody. It’s an exhilarating, feel-good musical that will take you to the stars and make you reluctant to touch the ground again, even if you’re not familiar with classic musical. Continue reading “La La Land (2016) – Review”

Sing (2016) – Review

Review: Second animated feature from Illumination Entertainment (the studio who brought you Minions and, recently, The Secret Life of Pets) in 2016 brings tons of happiness and a whole playlist ranging from the 80s to recent hits in SING, an absurd blend of X-Factor and lots like Zootopia. While the plot is muddled and the comedy is outdated, most elements in SING really works. Just work.

The plot is pretty basic, juxtaposing a generic restoring the good ol’ day quest and formulaic zero-to-hero storyline. There’s an enterpreneur, a koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) with minimum koala-fication to actually run a theater. His business collapses and he’s tangled in debt; to save his business (and his theater), he proposes an X-Factor-esque singing competition with total $1000 prize… initially. Continue reading “Sing (2016) – Review”

Trolls (2016) – Review

Review: More than just merchandise-oriented bonanza, Dreamworks’ toy-based Trolls is surprisingly a simple, fun reflection of happiness. Child audiences will find this candy-colored, scrapbook materials amusing; while at some points, it serves as a working treat for adults, who happen to see it, too.

I might mention ‘simple’ here, but that doesn’t mean Trolls is a dumb, witless story; it only serves its purpose as a PG entertainment. Not at Pixar’s emotional and/or intellectual depth, but it still emanates good vibes. Simplicity in Trolls is about making people happy in any simple way.

Speaking of happiness, the titular trolls are little creatures of happiness—they sing, dance, hug and even fart glitters. Trolls might be the happiest creatures ever; unfortunately, they’re also edible. They’re foods for Bergen, hideous creatures which cannot be happy… until they eat a troll. Continue reading “Trolls (2016) – Review”

Into the Woods (2014) – Review

Careful the wish you make, wishes are children…” The Witch sang.

Oscar-caliber director, Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine, Memoirs of Geisha) did Avengers on some lovely Brother Grimm’s fairy tales in Disney’s adaptation of Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods. Along with the original writer (Lapine) and composer (Sondheim), the director paved the way into the woods in the corner of Hollywood and Broadway.

Continue reading “Into the Woods (2014) – Review”