It’s December, so Christmas is a matter of days away and you’re having an existential crisis because the year is almost over. It’s also from around November, December and even January where the bulk of the best movies of the year start coming out because they have a higher chance of being picked up and remembered by the Golden Globes or the Oscars. Saw these two movies on the same day, so I thought I would review them together.
The first movie I saw that day was Encanto, the latest venture from Walt Disney animated co. (It’s their 60th feature too apparently, how about that.) This time Columbia is getting some of the Disney or Pixar magic, which is funny I mentioned that, because the film is about a magic house with a family with magical powers inside. Except for our main character Mirabel, who is the most relatable, because I would also be pretty annoyed too if I was the only one in the entire family to not have any magic/superpowers. That aspect isn’t the main conflict of the movie, but the fact Mirabel is fearing that her super magical family may not remain that way for very long. I probably could have explained that better, but whatever, hopefully by the end of this review, I would’ve convinced you to check out this beauty for yourself, so you can fill in the gaps of my vague blurb.
Encanto was a wonderful experience, from beginning to end. The story is intriguing, the main character is endearing and the rest of the cast were really fun, some of which proved to be more complex, than I was expecting. It’s also the fourth Disney movie in a row to not have a real villain, but instead the characters who conflict with Mirabel are more just misunderstood and flawed, rather than straight out evil. This really works in Encanto at making the family drama way more compelling and three dimensional, which is something that was missing in the other Disney produced entries from this year. Encanto and Dune would be my winners for the best visual spectacle of the year, however if I had to pick I’m giving the edge to Disney’s animation department. Encanto is a gorgeously animated delight for your eyes, especially in the musical numbers where they get a lot more creative with its visual style and colours. Speaking of the music, every song in this movie was a banger, which I can’t recall that feat ever being reached in any of the 2010 Disney movies. The songs were where the more one note characters in the magic family, were made much more three dimensional. My favourites songs from this movie would be the opening song The Family Madrigal, the two surprising characters deepening songs Surface Pressure and What Else can I do and the other one being We Don’t Talk About Bruno.
Overall a very solid film, that I didn’t really take any issue with. This is definitely the best Disney movie of the year and also probably their best produced movies in years. (Sorry, Pixar doesn’t count.) Easy recommendation, watch it with the whole family.
5 – It might become a personal favourite one day.
Final one, because I thought it would appropriate be to save the Sci-fi epic for last. I was mainly curious to see this because it was directed by Denis Villeneuve, whose last film was Blade Runner 2049, my favourite movie of 2017. Other than that I didn’t even know Dune was a well regarded book series, or that there was an 80’s movie until a couple of months ago. Oh well, besides seeing the trailer at the cinema a few times I went in totally blind. The only thing I expected is since it’s a Denis Villeneuve film, it’s going to look god damn beautiful!
There is a lot going on in Dune as it’s universe and the surrounding politics is a lot to digest, but the actual plot of the movie is pretty self explanatory. The family of rich good people go to the desert planet, but they get harassed by the family of rich bad people, so the good rich family need to search for the planet’s natives within the treacherous desert in order to get assistance in removing the bad rich family. I found this engaging stuff, watching the seeds being planted, only to see them paid off in small doses, however that’s as big a pay-off as you’re going to get in this film. I’d like to thank Twitter for revealing to me that Dune is only the first of a two part story, so my disappointment from seeing the end credits, was more subdued. Regardless it’s annoying because I’m not a fan of movies or shows that rely so heavily on a sequel, and I often feel kind of ripped off. In bad movies this would be the justification for sitting through a boring over 2 hour slog. Thankfully Dune was far from boring, and so far I’m enjoying what I’m seeing, it’s just a pain now I have to wait 2 years to see if they even hit the landing or not.
Villeneuve continues to not disappoint with the visuals as every shot in this movie is a marvel to behold. The scope of the long sandy desert, or the look of the futuristic buildings or ships, or seeing a character just standing around is just amazing. The accompaniment of Hans Zimmers’ score also help amps up Dune’s cinematography, along with the great costume design and special effects. The acting I would say is a mix bag, some of which is due to some of the big major stars you see on the poster, are barely in the movie, probably because they’ll have a larger part in the next one. Plus Timothee Chalamet as our main character, I’m not very convinced he was very good. On the plus side actors like Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson and Josh Brolin were all exceptionally good.
Anyway, Dune is a solid movie and I would recommend it to those who plan on seeing it, just be aware this is only the beginning. Unless you have read the books of course, then I’m sure you’ll have a completely different perspective on this than I do. That’s it from me, Blog Complainer, signing out.
4 or 5 – Rating doesn’t really matter much until the second part comes out.