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Just How Familiar Can Disney’s Strange World Get?

4 Dec

Strange World PosterSpoiler Alert

Disney Animation Studio‘s Strange World is visually gorgeous, but something is missing to make it a film worth remembering. I believe that’s because it’s not as true to those dime novels using ancient mythology to define where the adventure is at. Some pulps involve taking adventage of the era’s current interest in some archaeological dig or is simply high fantasy. Other publications offer sci-fi adventure.

Unfortunately, the Jules Verne influence in this motion film was not to my liking becuase the trailers suggested an Edgar Rice Burroughs direction. Had I been able to yell at the top of my lungs like Tarzan, I’d be happy. But instead, what we have here is a story about Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) ecstatic about discovering an energy-producing plant, and Jaeger, his father (Dennis Quaid), has gone off the deep end. Well, sort of. The elder believes there’s more to find in the unexplored regions of this world. But without any acknowledgment about why they like to explore, part of this film’s concept falls on deaf ears.

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Full Trailer Drop and Analysis.

2 Dec

Indiana Jones and the Dial of DestinyIndiana Jones is back, and his latest quest concerns a mysterious Dial of Destiny. It’s tough to say if that’s an archaeological relic or some ancient alien tech, but I’m hoping for the former, since the fourth film wasn’t beloved by every fan.

Although the trailer does not hint at much, we see him remembering things from the past and perhaps putting more emphasis about missing those adventures on the high seas. His concern for present events doesn’t seem to matter. As for his future, it’s nice to know he’s there to either be involved in some mess concerning the Apollo 11 landing and the return of those famous astronauts. Perhaps it is about some conspiracy that NASA does not want in the public eye.

But for those who’ve followed the lore concerning the US Government giving (former Nazi) German scientists amnesty after World War II ended, the plot being advertised is no surprise at all. But as for how historically accurate this tale will depend on rocket engineer Wernher von Braun getting involved. Amusingly, he’s an accepted Disney spokesman; He appeared in the 1955 television special Man and the Moon to explain why humanity must reach for the stars. He’s worked at NASA and as for whether he’ll influence Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), also a former Nazi, to do covert things for him, nobody knows for sure. This character might be played by Thomas Kretschmann, the only other German actor listed in the early credit reveal.

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On Why The Soccer Football Movie Doesn’t Always Score

22 Nov

Available on NetflixThe Soccer Football Movie

The Soccer Football Movie is more of a Weird Al movie than another CGI animated sports film. When this talent is nearly everywhere in the media these days, his popularity meter going on the rise should be no surprise. Following the wild and crazy fictional biopic of the singer (my review can be read here), this tale featuring him than voicing another character is just as zany. But he alone can’t carry a film.

The story is essentially Space Jam. The premise is the same–someone wants to steal the special ability of a sports star to use elsewhere. Instead of an alien threat, we have a fellow human who is perhaps jealous of other’s stardom. Had there more of an emphasis on this theme, there’d be a story.

Instead, what’s presented is a story about four kids–O’Dang (Kieran Walton), Zana (Madison Zamor), Nautai (Tania Gunadi) and Palio (Arnie Pantoja)–getting to meet their rugby hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Megan Rapinoe (both doing great jobs at voicing themselves). As their encounter goes from bad to good, and they win his heart, he offers them season tickets. But when he doesn’t return to give them their reward, that’s because he’s been “kidnapped.” That’s because Al wants to be more than a king of the world, and all those songs he wrote is actually about how he wants to be a surgeon and mad scientist after all.

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Korean Epic Hansan-Rising Dragon Isn’t Sailing Away Yet

22 Nov
Hansan-Rising Dragon

Available to watch on Amazon Prime or order

Well GO USA

One doesn’t need to be a student of Korean history to enjoy Hansan-Rising Dragon (한산: 용의 출현), the prequel to the 2014 movie, The Admiral-Roaring Currents (명량). This cinematic treatment about the historical Battle of Hansando during the last dynastic period of this country is epic. Those able to see it on the big screen in either IMAX or 4DX format are lucky. To witness the oceanic battles in the Yellow Sea must be quite the spectacle.

The tale here concerns figuring out what the next best tactical advance is. Admiral Yi is wounded, and his fleet is facing the might of the invading Japanese navy. His only defence is whether the turtle ships he has to command are fit to oppose. His advisors don’t want to see him in the field all the time.

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My Father’s Dragon, More Than A Thoughtful and Magical Adventure

16 Nov

My Father's DragonNow on Netflix

Elmer Elevator (Jacob Tremblay) is young and optimistic, but his mother Dela (Golshifteh Farahani) is worried about making ends meet in My Father’s Dragon. This animated fantasy is loaded with splendid production design, and Cartoon Saloon never fails to deliver. We are never told what happened to his father. It’s assumed he passed on and was the “breadwinner,” but since he’s gone, the family is struggling. Nora Twomey‘s last film had that title, and its story is very similar to this one.

In part one, he’s forced to move to a new town with his mom, and they’re struggling to pay the bills. The boy wants to help, but he’s going all about it wrong. After an argument, he runs away.

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