MovieMeditation’s Diary Reviews // “Come and meditate with me!”

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movies can be okay...
In short, what's your main problem(s) with Sicario? And what's your favourite Denis film, now since you kinda brought it on yourself here.
The plot was basic. It's the same old story that you would see in any film of its kind, and the only thing that raises it to a higher level is the cinematography and the acting, sure it may be one of the best films of its "sub-genre", but that's not saying much. I personally need more.

As for my favourite Villeneuve film, that would have to be Incendies.
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"A film has to be a dialogue, not a monologue — a dialogue to provoke in the viewer his own thoughts, his own feelings. And if a film is a dialogue, then it’s a good film; if it’s not a dialogue, it’s a bad film."
- Michael "Gloomy Old Fart" Haneke



The plot was basic. It's the same old story that you would see in any film of its kind, and the only thing that raises it to a higher level is the cinematography and the acting, sure it may be one of the best films of its "sub-genre", but that's not saying much. I personally need more.

As for my favourite Villeneuve film, that would have to be Incendies.
I have yet to see that, actually.



"8"
MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
The year is no spelling mistake

total movie count ........... viewing day count
296 .......................... 354

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December 21th

—— 2012 ——
WRECK-IT
RALPH

—— animation ——
DISNEY CLASSIC no.52

REWATCH
'Wreck-It Ralph' revolutionized retro gaming
for a whole new generation


This movie was a massive hit with audiences and critics alike, both calling it one of the best modern Disney films and a finely tuned mix between old and new, while also boosting a lot of originality and clever concepts and visuals. I can’t say I completely disagree with all that, but I will say that this movie didn’t appeal to me quite on the same level as with pretty much everyone else…

What I do like about this film is how it is filled with tongue in cheek references, colorful and impressive visuals, and a near referential auditory experience; all contributing to the overall high entertainment level that this movie confidently consumes. I personally think it lacks the intense emotional depth that Disney does so well, but I can’t deny that the undying themes of not fitting in and being yourself and not what others want you to be, all work great in the gaming world of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’. Even though this could feel like a modern spiritual successor to that of Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’, being inside arcade games contra the real world and relying on the concept of gaming characters having a destined path contra toys having a destined purpose, does indeed make a difference. It feels like something else and the concept and themes feel almost entirely different because ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is so fresh despite its retro callback.

What I don’t like is, for one, how the plot is far from perfectly structured to me, though admittedly, a lot of the reason why the movie feels fragmented and disorientated, is because of the challenges when facing an “open world” like that of an arcade machine, where the games and the worlds are many. Staying in one world would have been boring, but going through multiple drastically changes the look and feel of the film several times throughout, making it seem like a completely different movie – especially when we get to the last third where that and the climax mainly takes place in a huge pink and fluffy world. As you can tell, the countless of characters, concepts, worlds and gaming worships does threaten to take up more space than a proper personal touch for the movie.

Also, about the story structure, the whole idea about the glitch and the main villain is introduced a little late and comes off a little too slow and scattered, so that it never feels like a potent threat to me or like an important part of the plot throughout. Both the look, the sound AND the plot seems to change as the movie go. I guess that does create excitement, a feeling of being original and different, but to me it feels a little jumbled, confusing and the weight of the film is lost a little bit because of this.



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"7"
MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
The year is no spelling mistake

total movie count ........... viewing day count
297 .......................... 356

__________________________


December 23th

—— 1990 ——
edward
SCISSORHANDS

—— fantasy ——


REWATCH
He slices and dices his way through everything on his path...
but he is the nicest and most gentle person around...


Tim Burton brings the purest Christmas spirit back to life, in the most peculiar way, by shaping a chilling horror story into a warm family drama; filled with quirky characters and a crazy sense of quasi-realism throughout. Burton brings out his inner demons and dresses them up as amplified and highly animated personalities, living together in a very small town, who both in look and feel comes off as psychologically twisted but welcoming maniacs. Once again, we are invited inside an insane, nightmarish world like no other before Christmas, which can only come from the razor-sharp mind of someone like Burton.

On one hand – the lesser sharp one – It is a heartfelt traditional Christmas tale, which have then been cut into itsy bitsy pieces and later collected and compiled into one complete work of art, which only makes sense in the maddening mind of the gothic but genius director. The film falters between the weird and the whimsical, while attempting to balance the visually vigorous with the humbly heartfelt. The story takes place in a beautiful, offbeat universe, where the houses, as well as the personalities of those who live there, are as colorful as ever. In contrast, the humor and style is pitch black, but somehow in perfect pitch with what Burton wants to accomplish here. I don’t know how he does it, but somehow he manages to spellbind the audience without spilling unnecessary amounts blood or binding our hands together, forcing us to be there – because no, we are most certainly willingly accomplices to this criminally astounding film – and what a magical film it is.

The whole film happens out of a late-night Christmas tale, centering on the story about how we came to be blessed with the scenic, snowy and wonderful winter weather. The concept is creative, it is heartbreakingly touching and it is harrowingly original, despite paying homage to hundreds of iconic tales before it. Johnny Depp is perfect as the weirdo with the equally weird hairdo, looking a little like Frankenstein’s scarecrow; the rest of the actors and actresses are mostly perfect cast as well, while also being believable enough to help the audience believe the unbelievable that is taking place. To some people, this story might simply be nothing but sleet and slush, but if the Christmas spirit is in town, it is tough not to surrender to the lovely, lighthearted family horror, which plays out in this heavenly tale about the legend, Edward Scissorhands – and told inside a story perfectly sculptured by Edward Scissorhands’ brother… judging by the hair here, I’m sorry, Mr. Burton.






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Nice reviews as usual MM. I like both Edward and Ralph and both carry a real good rewatchability factor.
Thank you so much, SL! I missed your kind comments in here.

Glad you like Edward Scissorhands too. Indeed great rewatchability! I don't love Ralph as much, but it's still good entertainment. I understand your opinion.

Thanks for checking in man.



"6"
MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
The year is no spelling mistake

total movie count ........... viewing day count
298 .......................... 358

__________________________


December 25th

—— 2013 ——
FROZEN
—— animation ——
DISNEY CLASSIC no.53

REWATCH
Disney continue to strike while the iron is hot, and bring us an
early Christmas present, with yet another classic tale in their classic line!


In 2013 we got ‘Frozen’; a film that is also loosely based on a popular story – in this case by the famous Dane, Hans Christian Andersen – and with the same animated look and feel as their previous classic, ‘Tangled’, making it clear that Disney want to start some sort of new animated era of classics with these films. And as expected, ‘Frozen’ succeeded in bringing even more warmth to the audiences, which helped the movie become a massive success, and beat out ‘Tangled’ in the box office sale, continuing to prove that the magical powers of Disney are more alive than ever before…

Disney lets it go when it comes to some century-long clichés, but also sticks to tired, old tropes – like imbeciles licking light poles – so that we almost feel foolishly trolled in the process of believing Disney really left everything behind. Yes, I’m referring to the actual trolls in the movie who serves as the cute comic relief to a story that honestly doesn’t need them – especially when we already got Olaf… and Sven… and Kristoff. The trolls are introduced in a peculiar opening prologue and comes back even worse as an irritating intermission to the story; giving them a proper purpose alright, but doesn’t shy away from singing and dancing in an act that almost wrecks the whole film. It feels out of place and unnecessary in my opinion.

In the other end of the spectrum, ‘Frozen’ challenges the past perception about how love conquers all, but does it in a way that isn’t all about princess and princesses, despite the story being based on exactly that.
WARNING: "for the ending reveals" spoilers below
The loving prince turns out to be a pain in the ass, who wants to take over the kingdom, the weird sidekick wins the girl in the end and the sisterly love shows to be the most important love of all.
Also, you gotta love the ice cold and sly little side remark that Elsa makes to Anna, when the latter wants to marry someone she met half an hour ago, “you can’t marry someone you just met.” Oh, you just now start to realize that, huh Disney?

I will dive into the lower temperature levels here, and say that ‘Frozen’ is a film which unfortunately goes cold as it approaches the finale; failing to send pleasant shivers down my spine, but rather make me feel a little cold and indifferent when it all ends. Now, the actual climax isn’t the main cause of concern here, at least not in my opinion, but my point is that when the film finally reaches its high point, I have already pointed out several problems to myself throughout, and the power of the momentum is lost inside its own snowstorm... In fact, I personally think this movie opens wonderfully organic, like walking in a winter wonderland filled with ancient atmosphere that brings back memories of when musicals used to work, but the movie as a whole doesn’t live up to what we get when it is all over. The final product is so disjointed to me.

I have read both kind and criticizing words about the following, especially the mega-hit ‘Let It Go’, but I personally think that the songs in this movie are some of the best Disney has written and composed in contemporary times, truly capturing the spirit of classic musical composition with a modern twinkle in the eye. Musicals are supposed to tell a story, and almost work more like a poem than an actual song, and I think ‘Frozen’ finds its footing quite well here. Granted, not every song here is great, and the clingy cliché ballad, that is ‘Fixer Upper’ sung by the trolls, which is a song that needs a “fixer upper” more than anything else and instead of sending chills down my spine, I’m more in danger of getting a frostbite.

Generally, though, ‘Frozen’ succeeds in bringing back that classic feel set inside modern times, but Disney fails to stay completely true to themselves throughout and opts out for some overpowering comic relief, agonizing action sequences and some cast-away characters. Nevertheless, despite not feeling like I’m in Neverland (The eternal Disney one, not the eerie Michael Jackson one), there are enough moments to enjoy here, while the entertainment level is generally quite good. Indeed, it might be the Disney classic I’m the most conflicted about, which does make me pretty disappointed, but doesn’t make it a complete disaster…




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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I really liked Wreck it Ralph, I thought they did some excellent world building that served the story well.
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



Not alot of agreement on this page. I like Wreck-It Ralph more than you, it's one of my overall favourite Disneys and my favourite this Century. Thought Frozen was just okay, it looked great but i hated the songs and some of the jokes. Also not really a fan of Edward Scissorhands to be fair though it has been years.



As for my favourite Villeneuve film, that would have to be Incendies.
That's the only one of his films i like at all. Still have to see Polytechnique and Arrival though.



[center]"6"
MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
The year is no spelling mistake

[font="Lucida Console"][size="2"]total movie count ........... viewing day count
Really enjoyed reading your review of this movie and I especially want to echo one specific thing about Disney films that you mentioned that also bugs the hell out of me...this constant need to waste screentime with cute comic relief characters, usually in the form of fuzzy animal creatures. I can't remember the last Disney film I saw with comic relief characters who actually provided comic relief, they mostly just get in the way of the primary story. My best example of this was Pocahontas...this was a really beautiful story being told that just became disjointed due to the constant obligation the writers felt to insert comic relief, without these animals, that movie could have been something really incredible.



Really enjoyed reading your review of this movie and I especially want to echo one specific thing about Disney films that you mentioned that also bugs the hell out of me...this constant need to waste screentime with cute comic relief characters, usually in the form of fuzzy animal creatures. I can't remember the last Disney film I saw with comic relief characters who actually provided comic relief, they mostly just get in the way of the primary story. My best example of this was Pocahontas...this was a really beautiful story being told that just became disjointed due to the constant obligation the writers felt to insert comic relief, without these animals, that movie could have been something really incredible.
Indeed.

Basically, a good Disney movie is almost defined on how well their typical tropes are worked into the story, especially the comic relief characters. I would indeed prefer there were none at times, But I guess that's a wish to big upon Disney's star(dom).

Look at Wall-E - the comic relief was a cricket or whatever. GREAT movie, because of a lot of things, But for one I wasn't annoyed by some unnecessary comic relief. Lion King is probably the best example of how comic relief worked at its mist redicioulus. And they have failed a lot since.

But Disney does annoy me about all these. They get so predictable no matter the story - because there is always these few things you can always find in any Disney movie, just in different shapes and forms...

Thanks for taking your time to read my review and comment, Gideon, and thanks to Suspect and Camo too. No matter the disagreement I love every comment I get. Thank you.



@MovieMeditation


WALL·E (2008)*



This was a rewatch that was long overdue. I loved this film the first time around, but I felt like there was so much more to experience with this film. It is so ambitious and not the least different in its approach and execution, and I am truly stunned by the final result. The movie looks stunning and Pixar really went in so many brave directions with this one. I honestly think this is Pixar’s greatest achievement yet. I don’t necessarily mean the best or that it is my favorite, but the amount of detail and the choice of subject matter as well as characters… it is simply amazing. Everything.

It takes the film about 40 minutes or so until we hear human dialogue for the first time, and it is really a brave choice to rely so much on the impact of its visuals and the gags and emotions happening. That brings me to the marvelous success of making two central characters robots, with very little room for big expressions (you would think). Yet we are moved by them, and feel and understand every little gesture they make. Seriously though, think about it. The robot EVE only has two digital eyes to create like 80% of the emotion, and it works so well throughout the film.

Even the visuals are absolutely stunning, and perhaps even the most detailed and cinematic animated Disney-Pixar film as of yet! But again, that is what is going to happen when you study someone as great as Roger Deakins when doing your film – you get success and a beautiful movie, and his signature yellowish look is clear in the beginning of the film. Everything is just great in this one – the detailed and relevant story, the stunning and inventive visuals, the great soundtrack and the amazing and unique characters. It is probably the most adult Pixar to date, but I don’t complain that’s for sure…
I can see your a fan! that's cool. You said it takes 40 minutes before anyone speaks...you know I didn't even realize that as I was so engrossed in the world building, which the film does so well.

You said this is Pixar's greatest achievement yet. Do you still think that? What would be some of your other favorite Pixar films? I can't promise I would watch them, but if you 'promote' them I just might.



@MovieMeditation


I can see your a fan! that's cool. You said it takes 40 minutes before anyone speaks...you know I didn't even realize that as I was so engrossed in the world building, which the film does so well.

I knew that there was no dialogue for the first 40 minutes of WALL·E before I saw the movie, so even though it was getting great ratings, I went in with low expectations. I loved the movie so much that after it was over, I stayed and watched it a second time.
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If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.



I knew that there was no dialogue for the first 40 minutes of WALL·E before I saw the movie, so even though it was getting great ratings, I went in with low expectations. I loved the movie so much that after it was over, I stayed and watched it a second time.
Wow, you're dedicated, I don't think I ever watched a movie back to back. The closest I ever came was your nom in the Musical Hof, The Pajama Game. A film I'm sure MM has not seen

Question for you, and MM (or anyone): did you know that the spaceship was styled after a cruise ship? There was some hints but for most of them, a person would have had to been on a big cruise ship.



Wow, you're dedicated, I don't think I ever watched a movie back to back. The closest I ever came was your nom in the Musical Hof, The Pajama Game. A film I'm sure MM has not seen

Question for you, and MM (or anyone): did you know that the spaceship was styled after a cruise ship? There was some hints but for most of them, a person would have had to been on a big cruise ship.

I've never been on a cruise ship, so I never thought much about it, but based on what I've seen on TV and in the movies, (mostly from the TV show "The Love Boat"), I realized that you were right when I read it in your review of the movie.



I can see your a fan! that's cool. You said it takes 40 minutes before anyone speaks...you know I didn't even realize that as I was so engrossed in the world building, which the film does so well.
Indeed. The World building AND the overall animation is amazing. And that opening says so much without any words.
You said this is Pixar's greatest achievement yet. Do you still think that? What would be some of your other favorite Pixar films? I can't promise I would watch them, but if you 'promote' them I just might.
I do. But as I said, it doesn't mean "favourite". But In terms of animation, subject matter and approach to the story and themes, Wall-E went quite a bit higher than any before it. It's too perhaps the most un-Disney-like movie they have done.

But the only one I see that can rival it would be Inside Out. They deal with emotions quite strongly and bravely in that one. Toy Story 3 could be mentioned too, but basically only for that dark climax.
Wow, you're dedicated, I don't think I ever watched a movie back to back. The closest I ever came was your nom in the Musical Hof, The Pajama Game. A film I'm sure MM has not seen
HEY now, you don't know anything!! Actually I have seen it...

Okay, I admit it; I haven't. But watching a movie back to back, I've been close. Yet I have never done so because my mind always stop me and says "no. You have to digest it properly first" indeed I do think movies should be allowed to breathe before you dive into it again.
Question for you, and MM (or anyone): did you know that the spaceship was styled after a cruise ship? There was some hints but for most of them, a person would have had to been on a big cruise ship.
Yeah that was pretty obvious to me.



I've watched My Cousin Vinny back to back loads. Obviously that's not a film that needs digesting and i've seen it a million times anyway. Not sure if i've done it with anything else and certainly not with a film i've just watched for the first time.



I've watched My Cousin Vinny back to back loads. Obviously that's not a film that needs digesting and i've seen it a million times anyway. Not sure if i've done it with anything else and certainly not with a film i've just watched for the first time.
Back to back as in finishing the movie and then starting it over the second after? Cause we are not talking back-to-back on daily basis here.

Sure, I can imagine watching a movie I like back-to-back, like you say, but when you just finished a movie for the first time it you really can't process it all if you start it over the second it ends... I'm not a fan of that approach, though I've never actually done it. Sounds bad for the movie though...



Back to back as in finishing the movie and then starting it over the second after? Cause we are not talking back-to-back on daily basis here.

Sure, I can imagine watching a movie I like back-to-back, like you say, but when you just finished a movie for the first time it you really can't process it all if you start it over the second it ends... I'm not a fan of that approach, though I've never actually done it. Sounds bad for the movie though...
Yes the second after. Was exaggerating with loads but i've done it three or four times. It's just an easy to watch comedy that i love tho, one of those i know every scene so it's comforting.

Yeah i agree. Never done it and wouldn't.