Posted in Film Reviews, Me Stuff

Logan: The Lone Wolf of War

Ten years. That’s how long it’s been for me. Half of my life, if you will. I’ve watched this ageless man age and grow and suffer while kicking ass and taking names. I’ve loved him and cried for him and wanted nothing more than to just give him a hug. Before, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther and the Avengers, there were X-men. And among X-men, there was Wolverine. No one deserves such pain, especially a good man like him. A good man who just wanted to be left alone but got dragged back into the fight every time. He fought to be more than what they made him to be. He was … beautiful.

I saw the film two nights ago. It, as they say these days, slayed my very existence, shook me to my core, made me reminisce, nostalgic and so very, very sad. The film was depressingly brutal and beautifully fitting. For a man like Logan, this was truly how it could end, to die giving all he had left for someone else to live to fight another day. That sucker.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this makes my throat close up and gives me an uncontrollable urge to cry. Emphasis on the uncontrollable.

The movie begins with a sleeping Wolverine waking up to the sounds of thugs stealing the tires of his Limo. He tries, very nicely, to ask them to step away, they don’t, he tries again, less nicely this time, they beat him up, he flies into his trademark rage and tears them apart, defending himself.

If you have never seen or heard about Logan/Wolverine before which is EXTREMELY unlikely, this scene perfectly sums up his entire existence for you.

I don’t mind violence in a film, as in, if it’s rated R because of violence and language and not sexual content (prudish alert!), I will watch it given that it’s something I want to see, like this film. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Having said that, I don’t enjoy it. The sheer level of bloody murder and nasty ripping-open-flesh-and-bone action in this film had me like:

He’s limping around the entire length of the film, barely able to hold himself together and trying to take care of his beloved friend and mentor while being repeatedly shot at, stabbed, mutilated and kicked. LEAVE HIM ALONE. HE DIDN’T DESERVE ANY OF THIS. The whole film was emotional torture of the highest kind.

I’ve respected, admired, loved and rooted for this guy since I was ELEVEN. I’ve seen him go through shit and rise back up again, only to be put in the same shit in the next film. It went on and on but it was easier to ignore how lonely and miserable his life was because of the lightness of every film’s tone. It was virtually impossible to do that with this film, not only because it was darker, grittier and more realistic than all the rest with no humor whatsoever but also because Wolverine in this film is not what he once was, his prime long gone. I was hit and I was hit hard.

Another reason why I think he was subjected to violence more than the rest was due to the fact that he possessed healing abilities. Ooooh, this guy can’t be killed! So let’s choke the life out of him, let’s be as savage as possible. UGH. Watch this film and see what kind of impossible barbarity he was put through. And yet he ploughed on through life enduring shit after shit after shit.

“I’ve hurt people too.”
“You’re gonna have to learn how to live with that.”
“They were bad people.”
“All the same.”

This was perhaps the most beautiful conversation in the entire film, one that was mercilessly honest and gut-wrenching. Old man Logan gives his little girl advice, one that she’s going to need to remember in the future, one that is completely devoid of any sort of sugar-coating. Really, it would be wrong on so many levels if it was. The one giving it, the one it was being given to, the circumstances that lead to it, everything demanded it. There’s no “it’s going to be okay”, a hug or even a pat on the back. No, he’s straight as an arrow with Laura because he knows her life and sanity depends on it. That, and…

“Don’t be what they made you.”

Oh, don’t worry about me. Who needs a heart anyway?

With X-men he finally found a home, friends, loved ones, a place where he could live in peace. Never lasted very long, did it?

My familiarity with the character is restricted to the films alone. I haven’t seen the animated versions of him nor the comic book ones. For me, the only version of Wolverine that exists or matters is Hugh Jackman’s.

See? He was precious. He was frickin’ perfect. But what did they do, after decades of torture? They KILLED him. Oh, yeah. If you didn’t know and have just been spoiled, consider this my revenge.

Won’t lie, I was in denial when both Professor X and Logan died. With the Professor I thought it was a dream and with Logan I kept waiting for an end credits scene or his hand to suddenly pop out of the grave. Nah.

If I say anything more I’d essentially be repeating myself but here’s the last of it: I love you Logan/ James/ Wolverine, whatever you were called, and you would always be my hero.

Farewell,
X

NOPE.

Posted in Film Reviews, Me Thinks

Absolute Favorite Animated Films (AFAF)

Holla! Me again. This time I’ll bedazzle you with the list of animated movies that have stolen pieces of my soul one by one. With my consent, of course.
As before, I’ll list them in categories; the top ones and the honorable mentions.

ZE TOP 10+:

So these are the ones that I love and adore equally and I can’t really choose between them, they’re all so different and unique and awesome. I’ll further divide these into two segments:

#1) Childhood Favorites:

Spirited Away:

This is an Anime, a Studio Ghibli film and best one. I saw this years and years ago and despite watching it just once, it stayed with me for a long, long time until I decided to rewatch it. I didn’t know that I could love it more than I already did. It’s spectacular and strange and filled with incredible weirdness. It’s a classic.

Sinbad The Legend of the Seven Seas:

Why in the world is this film so flipping underrated? WHY? WHAT IS WRONG WITH HUMANITY? I never really could understand it. From the music to the story, the visual, the plot, the humor and the characters, it is MAGNIFICENT. It has one of the best openings to a film ever. It made me happy then and it makes me happy now. Brad Pitt voices Sinbad and he might just be the most endearing animated male character you have ever seen. Seriously, people, watch this movie. You can thank me later.

The Emperor’s New Groove:

The humor of this one is RAD. It’s why I loved it so much when I first watched it. I was about 10 or 12 and I remember laughing throughout the duration. The protagonist, Emperor Kuzko is an ass, Pacha and his family are so stinking cute and Kronk and Yzma make you guffaw with their antics. It is pure, unadulterated fun.

The Corpse Bride:

It’s creepy and nightmarish and garish and basically Tim Burton at his finest. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter voice the leads. It is as far removed from a cheery, happy film like Frozen as you can get and I have been smitten with it since FOREVER. The visuals are stunning, the songs are gloomy and it is unlike most, if not all, animated films which is a biiiiig plus in its favor.

Mulan:

Yeah, nope. I don’t think I need to elaborate why I love this. Any body else fight the urge to stomp their feet and yell HI-YAH! during I’ll make a man out of you?

Beauty and the Beast:

For detail, please visit one of my earliest posts about why I love Beauty and the Beast and what I think about the live-action adaptation. Chop-chop!

https://inaholetherelivedme.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/animation-to-live-action-thoughts-on-beauty-and-the-beast/

The Road to El-dorado:

Again, it was the humor. Kids watch things for the fun of it not to understand the deeper meaning behind things and if the film is funny, it’s destined to remain with them forever. Two best friends, con men actually, go on a hopeless quest to find the lost city of El-Dorado rumored to be made of gold. The music is wonderful and catchy and The Trail We Blaze by Elton John is one of my favorite songs.

Oh, and the blonde one? That’s Kenneth Branagh.

#2) Recent Ones:

Howl’s Moving Castle:

This one, though. AAAAAH. I watched this because I was bored and couldn’t find anything else. Little did I know that it was going to blow my brains out. Studio Ghibli films are freaking GEMS and this is the best one. Tee Hee. I told you I could never choose. Fun fact, it is based on the book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones and the two despite being NOTHING alike are amazeballs in their own special ways. The people who drool over fictional men take note, Howl will forever remain in your heart. He’s sassy, arrogant and adorable. Read the book version too so you have a better idea.

Coraline:

Living daylights will be scared out of you. I promise you that. And you might just start hating buttons after watching it. *wink* It’s bloody fantastic!! Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a genius piece of art and I dare say the film is better than the book.

Anastasia:

This film was such a surprise. I had no idea it would be as delightful as it was. Once upon a December is an incredibly haunting and beautiful song and it’s also one of my favorites. Anastasia and Demetri’s dynamic was glorious and for a cartoon character, Demetri was disarmingly attractive. It’s based on a historical figure, a Russian princess if I’m not mistaken.

Rise of the Guardians:

Ooooooh! I HEART THIS.
Reason # 1: Alexander Desplat’s score.
Reason # 2: Jude Law’s seductive voice. He plays Pitch Black, the boogeyman.
Reason # 3: Jack Frost. ASDFGHJKL.
Reason # 4: The Sandman. Adorable as HECK.
Reason # 5: Santa Clause, Jack Frost, Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny all together.

Big Hero 6:

I’ll never get over Tadashi Hamada. You hear me? NEVER! And I’m most certainly NOT satisfied with my care. *sniff sniff* Everything in this movie is cute. Hiro, Baymax, Tadashi and Fred I loved above all. It’s sublime, yo. And the cameo at the end by Stan Lee? GENIUS.

How To Train Your Dragon:

Toothless and Hiccup are MY BABIES. It does not get any cuter and awesomer and magnificenter and bloody fantastic-er than this. The first film was SO good, I was pretty much obsessed with it until the second one came out which did not help at all. Cressida Cowell’s books are hilarious but they are very different from the movies. Hiccup is a cinnamon roll through and through but I’m glad for the movie version of Toothless. The book one is a Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus and it is a very unruly and tiny dragon.

Brave:

Scottish accent – Check
Scottish pipe music – Check
Kilts – Check
Red Hair – Check
A Defiant Female Character – Check
Archery – Check
Your arguments, if there were any, are beyond invalid.

ZE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

These are the ones that hold a special place in my heart for various reasons but they are one or two levels lower than the ones mentioned above. I’ll be dividing them into two parts as well.

Childhood Favorites:

In no particular order, mind you. We had some of these as CDs and we destroyed them by watching them over and over again.

Lilo and Stitch:

My brother and I have probably seen it about 53765825283529 times as kids. I’ve also played the game which is totally awesome.

Hercules Zero To Hero:

It was in a CD and I remember this more than the first one because of that. The ones that we had we replayed them as soon as the movie ended. My elder sister used to get so riled up with us for doing that. The game version of Hercules is fabulous too. This was funny beyond doubt.

The Prince of Egypt:

Both films but I liked the Moses one the most perhaps. Deliver Us was a perfect song with beautiful lyrics, the part with his mother in particular was tearful.

Basil The Great Mouse Detective:

Also on CDs. I remember enjoying this but also being a little scared, the villain rat is positively horrendous. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. But then again, it’s probably true for a lot of other films.

Ratatouille:

I don’t like cooking but I think this is the kinda film that can make you want to cook. A rat that gets to fulfill his dream of being a chef by hiding under a human’s chef hat and controlling his movements? What? It’s intelligent and delicious and downright brilliant!

Shrek:

Donkey, two words: SHUT. UP.”
I had forgotten how much fun I always had while watching Shrek. The start where he’s bathing in dirt and shit is my favorite, obviously. Truth time: I never liked the fact that Fiona turned into an ogre instead of Shrek turning into a human. That was mini-me’s opinion, one that hasn’t changed since.

Brother Bear:

All three of us siblings loved this one! It was heart-melting. Again, mini-me didn’t like the fact that Kenai was turned into a bear forever but oh well.

Treasure Planet:

Another underrated film. It’s such a shame because this is spectacular from literally all aspects.

ACOTAR fans, you’re welcome.

Aladdin and the King of Thieves:

Aladdin 2, not 1. The best part? Robin Williams’ genie. There’s a party here in Agrabah…

The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

I found this film to be dark and a little horrifying. It was hard to take it lightly because I couldn’t decide whether to pity Quasimodo or be disgusted by him or love him. The film had a sombre atmosphere but it was undoubtedly a great one.

The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride:

Don’t look at me! We watched and rewatched the ones we had on CDs and that’s why we loved them more than the others. We weren’t aware of that pesky little thing called the internet back then. But I do love the first one too. We are one is the sweetest song everrr!

The Incredibles:

I waited and waited and waited and am still waiting for a sequel. Seriously Pixar.

Recent Favorites:

Tangled:

Remember that movie that had THE most amazing songs and THE most handsome and charming rapscallion called Flynn Rider in it, the one that came before Frozen? Yup, that one. Guess what? I love it more.

Boxtrolls:

I found this to be funny and fun but when I showed it to my friend she absolutely hated it. I guess it’s one of those movies. What you can’t deny is that it is unusual and weird, for me, in a good way.

He’s called Eggs. Isn’t he just adorable?

Strange Magic:

This film was strange. Weird AF. Both visually and in terms of the story. I thought the songs were too over the top except for the last one between the Bog King and Marianne. I have seen this exactly one time. It didn’t stick with me but it stuck with me. Get it? It’s been described as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the Beast does not turn into a human. And herein lies the reason why it’s strange and wonderful at the same time.

The Lego Movie:

Why is this one so cool? Why does Chris Pratt sound so cool? How does a cool being like Morgan Freeman even exist? Lego Batman and Lego Dumbledore are two things I didn’t know I needed in my life. The level of coolness this movie has is off the charts.

The Croods:

When both father and daughter squeeze Guy and break his bones, when Grug tells his kids stories that always end with “AND DIEEEED”, when he attempts to be more intelligent than Guy, EMMA STONE!!!! I could go on. It’s basically a treasure trove of priceless moments.

Whisper of the Heart:

Another Studio Ghibli gem. I fell in love with it so hard. It’s a romantic film and it’s sweet and lovely and charming. Anime is LIFE, man.

I know there are legit HUNDREDS of other more popular animated films out there. They aren’t in this list either because I haven’t seen them yet or despite being amazing, they didn’t make much of an impression on me.

Comment your favorites down below and let me know what you think.

Cheers!

 

 

Posted in Film Reviews

Animation to Live-action: Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they’ve got planned”

WARNING: The author is a bit obsessed with gifs. Expect loads of ’em.

As far as I can remember, whenever someone asked me who my favorite Disney princess was I always told them that Belle was my favorite and that Beauty and the Beast was my favorite fairy tale. Little me didn’t have any grand reasons as to why she preferred that particular princess and her story, indeed, the reasons were much more simple than what they are now.
I’ve heard some people relate why Belle’s character resonated with them so muchΒ  when they were mere kids and their reasons make me scoff so loud it can wake a dead person. Reasons like “she was such a strong character” or “the film changed my life” and the like. Folks, these are valid reasons and I totally believe that Belle is such a person. What I can’t believe is that that is why you liked her when you were, like, 6 years old. Pfht, seriously.

So what, you ask, were my reasons? They were two exactly:
a) Belle had brown eyes, I had brown eyes.
b) Belle had brown hair, I had brown hair.

It was like looking into a mirror. Tehehe.

When I was in school a lot of the girls had bags, geometry sets, notebooks and other stuff with all of the Disney princesses on them together and we would pick our favorites and these two things compelled me to say Belle from Beauty and the Beast every time.
There was another reason but it sat at the back of my mind and I never truly paid any attention to it: Beauty and the Beast was considerably more exciting than other fairy tales like say, Cinderella or Snow White. There was also the stark absence of any breed of step-mothers and it didn’t revolve around the girl wanting to get married. But this I understood later, not then. Children can be creative, thoughtful and intelligent but this kind of analytical thinking is possible only when you’re a bit mature, Hence the hideous scoffing.

So, now that we’ve covered what midget-me found appealing, let’s take a look at what dwarf-me loves about the beloved tale (in no particular order).

My New & Improved Reasons for loving Beauty and the Beast:

    • Belle has brown hair and brown eyes.
    • The story has more action and thrill than the other fairy tales.
    • I don’t care how bad it sounds but there’s something so exhilarating about the idea of seeing the ‘man behind the beast’, understanding him and then falling in love. Or the enemies-to-lovers thing, whatever you want to call it. It just shows how powerful love truly is.
    • Talking objects and the hilarity they cause.
    • There are no step-mothers.
    • Belle is fierce and brave and stands up for what she wants.
    • She wants more from her life, a feeling I’m sure all girls out there experience to varying degrees and extents. Including me.
I’ve never acknowledged how true these words ring, until now.
      • She loves books so much that she’s deemed odd by her townsfolk. Now why does that sound familiar?
Switch ‘Belle’ for ‘Sara’ and you’ll have the tag line of my life.
  • Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast.
  • Be Our Guest. I was absolutely captivated whenever I watched this part.

I automatically look for Beauty and the Beast based books whenever I’m researching retellings. The different takes on it are always fascinating but nothing beats the original. Which brings us to the 2017 live-action adaptation.

It was about 85% faithful to the original and it was extremely satisfying to see most of my favorite bits come to life. Some parts didn’t make it and I wasn’t much bothered by that. The film makers added more backstory to Belle, Beast and even Gaston and I appreciated that a lot. Since lists dictate my life and make it easier, here’s the film’s review in a list:

  • I liked every single actor in the film especially Kevin Kline as Maurice.
  • The CGI effects of the Beast and the household objects were actually pretty good. Not sure why people were making such a fuss about it. I believe the translation of the animation’s Beast to the live-action one was perfect. The horns were a nice touch.
  • I adore Emma Thompson and I think she’s the coolest person on the planet but she had this really, I don’t know what to call it, weird accent? Like the one where you don’t pronounce the ‘h’. So instead of here it is ‘ere. It would have been fine had it not shown in Tale As Old As Time. It ruined the overall sweetness of the song for me to be honest. I prefer the original.
  • Be Our Guest was also underwhelming. I was visually spectacular in some places but I ended up not liking it one bit. The one in the animation was more lively and fun while this one tried too hard but failed.
  • Luke Evans was delightful as Gaston. The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that unlike in the original, after listening to Maurice’s pleas about Belle being captured by the Beast, instead of dismissing him outright and making fun of him, he actually went along with him to find his daughter.
  • Gaston was the funniest and most well-executed song in the film.
  • The ballroom dance was PERFECTION. Le sigh.

  • There was, sadly, too little of Adam and Belle together. The dance at the end didn’t make up for it. I wanted a little more.

All in all, it was a mesmerizing experience, full of wonder, smiles and nostalgia. I loved it!

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly

Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the beast…

Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong


Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

*sniffles*