mandy moore

[Mega Movie Review] Catching Up on 2017

13886469_1267046413328617_7042198926381498825_nBusy time of year folks, so apologies to anyone who actually looks forward to my latest reviews. I didn’t want everything I’ve seen to fall by the wayside, so here are some brief thoughts on everything I’ve seen so far in 2017 but haven’t had time to sit down and put full write ups on. Sit back relax and “enjoy” some candid hot takes on these 2017 releases!

Kong: Skull Island – Come for the star studded cast then shove them aside for the awesome creature fights. Kong is visually impressive, but it lacks humanity in a pretty comical way. The characters very much feel like empty shells taking us from one place to another to be bait for the eventual breathtaking spectacle of the Kong fights. In spite of the lack of characters to hang your hat on this was still a pretty tremendous and crowd pleasing theater experience. Rating: B+

Gifted – Sort of let this one get lost in the shuffle. This is a very understated film. There was almost no marketing push and it just sort of appeared in theaters with little to no fanfare. If its still out there though, get out and see it. I could have used a little more closure for some of the relationships and perhaps a little more emotion out of Chris Evans’ character, but this has been the most affective dramas so far this year that also happens to have a pretty delightful sense of humor. Rating: A- (more…)

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Movie Review: Tangled (2010)

It’s been a while that I’ve been truly taken aback by a musical, but Disney has time and time again never failed to impress. I didn’t love THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, but I did like it, but it’s safe for me to say that TANGLED exceeded my expectations while still not surpassing some of my previous favorites like ALADDIN and THE LION KING. The voice acting is top notch and the animation is not quite as dazzling as Pixar’s work, but still very magical and exciting to watch.

TANGLED is the story of a girl, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), who is born to a king and queen after the mother is healed by a magic flower. The flower that healed the queen was previously being used by a woman, Mother Gothel, who used the flower’s magic to keep herself young. To attain the magic once again, Mother Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and locks her away in a tower as Rapunzel’s hair has absorbed the flower’s magic. The king and queen send out floating lanterns each year on Rapunzel’s birthday in hopes that she will return and by chance Rapunzel meets a wanted thief, Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi), who makes a deal to make her wish of seeing the lanterns up close come true.

I’ve had a love for animation since I was a kid and even today I get excited for most of the animated films release each year. Over the years I’ve especially taken a liking to the 3D computer generated animated movies that came along from Disney and Pixar as well as Dreamworks. TANGLED doesn’t quite touch my favorites of these types of films like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON or THE INCREDIBLES, but it is still a very entertaining and at times very heartfelt film.

TANGLED is a very interesting and fun take on the fairy tale of Rapunzel. I probably could do without the musical element behind the film as I don’t find a majority of the songs as memorable or catchy as previous Disney musicals but as it stands they are not terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It’s definitely a film that should please the whole family; even adults will find some big laughs along the way.

The animation while far from Disney’s best is still quite striking, especially during the scene with the floating lanterns. It’s the characters though that deserve a lot of the praise as each one is designed uniquely and voiced perfectly. The two best characters in the movie though don’t even speak and that’s Rapunzel’s faithful chameleon and a determined horse named Maximus. I found the horse to be the funniest part of the film.

Personally, I think the animation and the characters are the key selling point of TANGLED, but I know that the songs are a big part of the film too. As I mentioned though, I just don’t think the songs are anything to write home about. The song during the flying lantern scene and one of the earlier songs I really enjoyed, and others I just didn’t think had a rhythm or theme that I could really get in to. None of them are terrible pieces of music; they just aren’t up to par with earlier Disney musicals.

There are plenty of reasons to recommend TANGLED to just about everyone and the flaws will not ruin the film so it winds up being a very enjoyable piece of family entertainment. It’s not every day that I really like a film where the two best characters don’t even have a single word of dialogue. Kids will get a kick out of it and adults won’t feel cheated either. TANGLED fits in nicely with the Disney filmography but does not stand near as tall as their best efforts.