FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (2016)

fantasticbeastsposter

For a spin-off, Fantastic Beasts seems pretty detached to the Potterverse. Apart from essentially connected to Grindelwald, it is a(mericanized) whole new whimsical world with its own terms and rules.

The storyline feels underdeveloped and crammed up, which is rather disappointing considering JKR writes the screenplay herself. She supposedly has plenty of time to tell more backstory since it will be made into a pentalogy!

But great thing is, you can see her signature writing and how good she creates the characters and how she builds their relationships. You’ll grow fond of the new gang once you get to know them.

The actors are well-cast, but there is only one scene stealer. By Merlin’s beard, doesn’t Colin Farrell look dapper in that overcoat?! The actual fantastic beast in the film. Rawr.

MALEFICENT (2014)

Maleficent (2014)

Remember, this is made by Disney. So you shouldn’t be surprised if they tone it down since it appears they target younger audience unlike SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN that decided to go to a darker path.

As a result, MALEFICENT becomes a much heartwarming tale than it’s supposed to be, but I LOVED it. I understand why audience dislike this version as it deviates way further from the original story. A total reconstruction, as a matter of fact. But this version feels closer to real life than fairy bullshit tale of yore.

They give MALEFICENT a back story why she does what she does. Villains become a villain isn’t always because they’re heartless pure evil from birth. There’s always a why, and you’ll feel sorry for her. (we’ve actually seen several kids flicks that root in the same idea)

And most importantly, once again, Disney did it right with the “true love” thingy since FROZEN. I tip my hat to that.

Overall, the idea works really well for me, probably have some minor issues. Story could’ve been developed better. There wasn’t enough oomph.

One thing for sure, you just can’t look away from DAT GLORIOUS FACE THAT IS ANGELINA JOLIE. Dayum woman looks smokin’ as hell. She owns it. No one can steal her thunder with that face and dashing performance.

THE LORAX (2012)

Adorably funny and lovable. The Lorax is a classic tale with a strong and touching environmental message. It could’ve been better if they showed more of the story of The Lorax itself and the forest’s animals (which was the only best part of this film, sadly).

Still, very recommendable for children.

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (2012)

I understand why most critics giving Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close bad reviews. I know how odd and peculiar the story and (specially) Oskar are. If you’re familiar with Foer’s novels, you’d know that they are always that quirky (see Everything Is Illuminated which has been also adapted to the big screen played by Elijah Wood — Trust me, it was way weirder). So, you can’t really blame it on the story. To me, it was a decent adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s work. They didn’t left anything important out, even though I expected more of Foer’s original lines in the screenplay and some of the sub-stories that didn’t make it into the film. Essentially, I am quite content with how it turned out. It was just as heartfelt as when I read the book. Also, I couldn’t really complain on Max Von Sydow playing as Oskar’s grandfather. It couldn’t get any better. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close couldn’t get any more honest than it already is.

THE DESCENDANTS (2011)

‎”Paradise can go fuck itself.”

The Descendants surprised me by its often comedic manner. The adapted screenplay is pretty much solid and well-written (loving the voice-over narration and the hysterical remarks!). However, The Descendants is a little bit overrated with all the awards hype. I do enjoy Clooney’s performance in this side of drama, but this is not one of his extraordinary achievements.

Nevertheless, The Descendants is still a very enjoyable long stroll on the beach.