How to Train Your Dragon 2: Crying over an animated dragon

Film

How to Train Your Dragon 2

A few weeks later than planned, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was finally seen in the cinema. FINALLY. Happy to say, it was worth the wait. However, just wished we were able to see it at the “nice” cinema.

With How to Train Your Dragon 2 being a 3D film too, the “nice” cinema where we saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, was only doing 3D showings. Naive that we were, we just expected all the cinemas to be as lovely as that place.

100 movies: Brave

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

BraveBrave (19/08/12)

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery to undo a beastly curse.

It has been years since the last original Pixar film. So expectations were high for Brave. Not just because it’s been years since a non-sequel Pixar film. But also because of last year’s impossibly unnecessary and silly Cars 2. In comes Brave and doesn’t exactly light up the critics and viewers. Though it totally won me over.

So what was it that won me over? I put it down to Pixar magic. Brave is a simple story. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a very un-Pixar like film. Though I beg to differ. They all have a simple message at their heart. But it’s a message that’s set in a story that itself is set in such beautiful artwork and animation and cracking voice talent.

Brave had all of this for me. There were two things that really made this film for me. The first thing was the visuals. The film is stunning! Merida’s hair. The Scottish landscapes and castles. They all looked real and not a computer animation. The movements of the animals. Pixar never fails in that respect.

The second was Patrick Doyle’s score. This year’s not been a fantastic one in regards to film scores for me. There have been a handful of good ones and even fewer great ones. Patrick Doyle’s is one of my favourites of the year. It’s totally enchanting and magical. Perfect for the film. It was strong, but not over powering. Supported the film perfectly.

The story itself had me in tears from the beginning. Seriously, I need help! It was predictable. But it wasn’t the bad sort of predictable where I was bored. It was the sort of predictable that I could accept. If that makes sense. Merida, the independent and head-strong young woman wanting to lead her own life and not one that’s been put in front of her by her mother. It’s a story, I reckon, almost everyone can relate to. Despite being in my late 20s, I really related to Merida. I sort of wished I was her. Is that something someone my age should be admitting?

I’ll admit, it’s probably not one of Pixar’s strongest films. But Brave is up there as being one of their best for me. A beautifully told fairytale that I got completely caught up in.

Almost forgot to mention the pre-film short – La Luna. As is tradition, it was stunning. I’ve used beautiful one too many times in this review already, but it’s the only word I can use to describe La Luna too. Very whimsical and plain adorable. Loved the music and the 3 characters. Great little story.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ Movies: Getting Back on Track

120+ Movies of 2011

The Hangover Part IIThe Hangover Part II (27/05/11)

Right after the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug jet to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Stu’s plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch, however, goes seriously awry.

Going into this film I knew what I was expecting – more of what was in the first film and then some. So this film ticked that box well enough. It pretty much stuck to the same formula as the first film. Well, I think it treated the first film as a template to the second. Things almost happened exactly the same way as they did in the first with different variables. Some ludeness was upped. The amount of stupidity from Alan was upped, which did grate on my slightly.

Though I laughed throughout most of the film. There was plenty of stupidity. It’s not as good as the first one, because the first one set all the rules and this second film has stuck to the rules like glue. I probably won’t be buying this when it gets released on blu-ray/DVD, but it was a fun ride. Marginally disappointed in that this could have been one hell of an even funnier film given the talent.
Rating: 3/5

How to Train Your DragonHow to Train Your Dragon (28/05/11)

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Now this is a surprisingly good film! It’s a simple story. Young boy trying to find his place. Forms unlikely friendship. Everyone learns a vital lesson by the end of the film. But it’s so nicely told with some equally touching moments and brilliantly funny parts!

The bonding scene between Hiccup and Toothless got me to tears in record time, thanks to a really beautiful score by John Powell.

Think this is my favourite animated film from Dreamworks. It had some real heart to it, which I find other Dreamworks animated films just don’t have. I’m happy there’s a sequel, but I hope they get things right again and don’t mess with a great formula. Just maybe improve it slightly.
Rating: 4/5

ZodiacZodiac (28/05/11)

A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

This is what I call a ‘heavy’ film. My brain hurt a lot after finishing with it. Not to mention left feeling a little bit unsatisfied. Well, that was my initial feeling after I’d finished watching the film. Looking back on it, how on earth could it have ended any other way.

Brilliant performances from all the cast in the film. The Zodiac killer himself terrified me. More-so due to the fact that he was/is real. Sends a shiver down my spine.

Loved the look of San Francisco and the colour tones in the film.A very beautiful looking film as well as packing a lot of substance.
Rating: 4/5

Up in the AirUp in the Air (30/05/11)

With a job that has him traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham leads an empty life out of a suitcase, until his company does the unexpected: ground him.

My god, it took me so long to finally watch this film! But I’ve seen it now, so stop looking at me that way.

Brilliant film. Great dialog. Amazing cast. The ending of the film did not go where I was expecting it to go. I was expecting a happy ending, which I guess it was in a way.

I adored the opening sequence of the film and all of the aerial shots in the film. They were beautiful! I want to make a snapshot of one of them and put it on my desktop.
5/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far: