The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] Mr Peabody & Sherman March 25, 2014


IMDB: 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 78% Certified Fresh

Metacritic: 60/100

My rating: 8/10

The trailer definitely did not do this movie justice, after I watched the trailer I thought it’s going to be a really childish movie that’s only aimed at children and hard for anyone above the age of 13 to like it.

Of course, after giving it a chance, my prejudice was proven wrong.

For someone who is not of the targeted demographic, they manage to draw me in by using this strong sense of nostalgia.

The nostalgia for the 1960s cartoons that’s still being shown over and over again on TV, for many generations.

Naturally the visuals are of modern-day 3D animation, but the humour is definitely what we remember of the olden day cartoons.

I must also say I really like the pacing of this movie, it caters very well to the short attention span of most children, and thus everything is moving very fast, changes happen all the time, from one thing to another, and it’s simplistic enough for the kids to understand and catch on, I can hear the children laughing at one joke to the next.

My favorite part of this movie, is the father and son relationship between Mr Peabody and Sherman.

There’s a lot of moments which are so realistic that you can definitely find a piece of memory which you’ve witnessed that kind of fits exactly into the situation at that point.

Such as when Sherman is trying to reason himself, and said something hurtful to Mr Peabody, then Mr Peabody says something that shows how disappointed he is at Sherman, and Sherman sort of just lowers his head in silence.

It touches on both sides of this issue, between the struggles of parenthood and the struggle of accidentally upsetting your parent.

Those are the moments that made me take this movie more seriously than I did initially.

The history aspect of this movie is the part which I assume, would only find connection with older audiences, there’s a lot of puns that even I didn’t get.(Though I must say I’m not that knowledgeable myself)

Which is why it’s fitting for Sherman to constantly say ‘I don’t get it’ at Mr Peabody’s historical puns, because I bet a lot of the younger audiences wouldn’t get it either.

There’s one thing that I really really hated about this movie, which is Penny.

Let’s all agree to this, she’s a bully, she bullied Sherman, and terrorizes the other students.

I don’t like how this movie handled the issue on bullying, they had the perfect opportunity to educate children to not bully, or how to actually face bullies.

The reason why it bothers me so much is because children relate very well to such things, bullying and getting bullied, and by not addressing it properly, it kind of sends a different message to kids.

I’m not very sure whether it was cut from the movie, or it just didn’t make it into the final draft of the script, but there was almost no condemning towards Penny’s actions.

All of a sudden, she became a nice girl, she no longer bullies Sherman or anyone, she became compassionate and developed a friendship with Sherman.

It just feels like a very important scene was cut from the movie, something like Penny and Sherman apologizes to each other and  agrees to being friends.

But when you don’t touch on it, I’m afraid some kids would think that what Penny did was actually right and acceptable, and would end up copying it, because they would assume the victim would be like Sherman, doesn’t get that affected and ended up becoming their friend.

Of course I’m not a child expert, but I do have experience on being bullied, and so as someone who relates to Sherman very well on that aspect, I don’t feel very satisfied with how this issue was handled.

I understand that it’s properly just a plot point for Penny and Sherman to collide into each others’ life, and for the rest of the movie to happen, a convenient story that is also interesting enough.

The ending of this movie felt very rushed, and everything just worked out of convenience, all the problems Mr Peabody had just poof and disappeared.

But I can forgive it because after all this is a comedy, it’s still a movie aimed at kids at the end of the day, so when goofy things happen and solve all the problems, it really doesn’t affect how much I enjoyed this movie.

In conclusion, everything about this movie is very simplistic, from the character design, to events that happen, it won’t exactly be remembered as an animation masterpiece, but definitely entertaining enough to be a movie worth watching just for the fun of it, for the entire family.

There are some re-watching values for those who want to understand all the historical puns that Mr Peabody made, or for kids to grow up and find new surprises that they would only understand with more knowledge about this world.

 

[Movie Review] Saving Mr Banks – The Movie That Only Disney Could Make March 17, 2014


IMDB: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 80% Certified Fresh

Metacritics: 65%

A topic like this is sensitive, especially since Walt Disney Pictures is one of the biggest companies out there in the showbiz, to ever have Walt Disney being represented by an actor in any movie, is pretty much a miracle of our age.

Disney, or Walt, as he would like you to call him, is a legend, he’s the guy who made revolutionary animated movies, the person who brought us so many wonderful motions pictures, someone who practically paved the path for the standing of animation today.

However, as we grow up, after we learn more about this world, we would slowly realise that, Walt Disney, is a human being too, and no one is perfect.

Surprising as it is, this movie is not about Walt, but about P.L. Travars, the author of Mary Poppins.

The entire story is basically centred around her, and because of that, this movie became a roller coaster of emotions, and a really relatable movie.

P.L. Travars is the person who you would hate to work alongside with, she’s cranky and rude, always appearing as a step higher than you, does not care what you think and only cares about how she feels… But I’m pretty sure a lot of us can see a part of us in her.

Which was one of the reason why I really loved this movie, I could relate to her, I actually do care for her, despite all her flaws and the fact I’ll probably still hate her if I met her in real life, I forgave her for all that she’s doing, because I know she’s only human.

The portrayal of family problems is by far the best I’ve seen in recent blockbusters, it did not entirely paint a bad picture for anyone in the family, instead it simply showed the struggles they were going through and bad decisions being made, it looked at these problems through the eye of the child, and how it still clings on to the child even after she grew up.

Which was the key thing that made this movie very personal to a lot of people who had experienced similar things in their childhood.

I was surprised that the movie was actually pretty fair to Mrs Travars, considering they seem to all hated her and till the day she died she still never forgave them for what they’ve done to Mary Poppins.

The representation of Walt Disney was also fair enough, but you could still feel the utmost love and admiration the people who were involved in this movie had towards him.

I have to say I was slightly disappointed that they chose to not mention Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, instead simply went with Mickey when talking about the topic of rights of a character being taken away. However I could guess it’s because they don’t want any feud with Universal, and not everyone knows about Oswald.

I like the parallel storyline of Mrs Travars and her childhood, and how they link together, it’s a very interesting method of storytelling.

Another thing I really like about this movie is the characters, you can’t outrightly hate anyone in this movie, at the same time you don’t immediately love them either, it’s very grey when you look at it.

Now let’s get onto the topic of the reality of this movie.

This movie pretty much have a smooth ride since it’s based on one of the most classic in film history, a lot of people would come to watch it simply because they could relive the wonders of Mary Poppins.

However, as much as we hate to admit it, this movie is once again Disney fluffing up a story that they’re adapting.

This movie, albeit for all that it’s talking about, is doing exactly the same thing as what it’s main character is defending against.

Is that is not real irony I don’t know what is.

However my opinion on this issue is conflicted because in one of my scriptwriting lecture, one very important thing taught to us about adapting from a source material, is that we have to think for the final picture, instead of being thoughtful for everyone stuffing in content that’s not going to help the film.

Or the fact that when adapting from another source, it’s perfectly acceptable to change things here and there to enhance it.

Which was exactly what Walt Disney and the production team of this movie did.

This movie is about the struggles of working in the creative industry, having conflict with people who sees a different picture, and the money, contract, legal rights issue behind the scene.

I think you can add this movie to the whole list of ‘good movies about making movies’, because despite several parts of it being fictionalised, looking at the irony of it or the actual content of the movie, gives you the insight to what happens behind the screen.

Especially since many times, those movies about the struggles of making a movies, tend to focus more heavily on the actual production, while the pre-production stage can actually be just as much of a battlefield as that.

Overall, looking at the movie itself, it’s not the best as it could have been, but knowing the limitations, it’s already the best it could have been.

PS: We all know what will happen if Disney doesn’t actually acquire the rights to make a movie, just look at Lion King.

 

 
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