Midnight Movies: A Musical Spectacle, Entertaining Action, and Fantastic Beasts.

As the countdown to Christmas loomed over the world, the day itself flew by. Now, we enter that stage of recovery as the merriment turns into content leading to the New Year. With that, it’s safe to say that many of us take the time to watch a slew of films that have long been on the backlist. Here is what I’ve been watching.

The Greatest Showman

I know what you’re thinking, how can someone go so long without watching this showstopper of a film. Truth be told, the soundtrack was good enough on its own and knowing the history of the real PT Barnum, I was reluctant to watch it. Now, I will admit I enjoyed the film. The musical productions were phenomenal and the cast gave a compelling performance. However, the story was weak and lacked the depth it needed to make people really invest in the story. It is clear that the film relies on its musical productions to carry the film, instead of bringing the depth needed to the topics it attempts to explore. The balancing act between the music and the multiple plot threads was poorly executed and while there is a wonder to the spectacle of the film, it’s failed to leave a lasting impression. Continue reading

Midnight Movies: Christmas Special

‘Tis the season to be jolly. The countdown draws ever near and with all the preparations going into the festivities, we have to make time to indulge in those romantic, funny, and heartwarming Christmas films. Here, is what I’ve been watching so far.

Klaus

If you only watch one new Christmas film this year, make it Klaus. Serving as an origin story for the legend that is Santa Clause, Klaus takes us the island of Smeerensburg, a town built on a longstanding feud between warring families. Our reluctant postman, Jesper is given the near-impossible task of delivering 6000 letters in a year. To do this, he enlists the help of Klaus, a reclusive woodsman with an eye for craftsmanship. Jesper plots to use the children of the town to fulfil his goal by writing a letter to Klaus in exchange for a gift. What follows is an odd-couple dynamic that unintentionally changes the dynamic of Smeerensburg, and with that brings a sense of joy and purpose that had long been missing on the land. The animation heightens the cold desolation within the town, but also adds a layer of vibrancy and nostalgia, as its traditional animated techniques effortlessly blend with the latest animated innovations, providing a distinctive look that effectively immerses the viewers in the story. Klaus will surely become a modern classic, as the film touches on the tale old value in the spark of small acts of kindness while also providing a unique and moving origin story for Santa that oozes charm and heart. Continue reading

Midnight Movies: The Statistical Strategy in Sport, Tense Historical Drama, and a Monster Movie Knock Out.

The festive season is upon us and, like many of us, I have every intention of indulging in all the Christmas classic flicks. However, in the last month, there were several films that both surprised me and delighted me with brilliant performances, insightful storytelling, and one ridiculous festive film.

The King

An understated historical feature that spotlights the brutality of war and court manipulation. Some may say the film lacks action, but this allows the spotlight to fall on our main protagonist, newly crowned King Henry V, a man so dismayed by the destruction of war that he emotionally distances himself from his father, Henry IV. As king, he seeks to unite England and bring peace between nations. Timothée Chalamet stole the show as Henry V, alongside Joel Edgerton’s Falstaff, his closest ally and former warrior. There is a subtle nuance in their performance that is incredibly effective as we get to visually and emotionally witness the exhausting toll war takes on a man’s mentality. As tensions mount between the French and English, we are treated to a suffocating battle culminating in a visually striking reminder of the brutality of war. The King is a period drama that finds its strength in performance and substance.
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Midnight Movies: Flying Elephants, 90’s thriller, and a Sci-Fi Epic.

It’s been a while since I last watched a movie. With autumn marking its arrival and the cold night sets in, our beloved projector has been taken down for the remainder of the year. I know, I sound dramatic, but some films are just made to watch on the projector and the projector alone. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to tick another handful of films off of my to-watch list. This is what I’ve been watching.

Dumbo

Out of all the Disney films, they could have adapted, many of us never thought we’d hear the words Dumbo live-action. How you take a flying elephant and turn it into something believable and meaningful is beyond me. Yet, after watching the film, there is a certain charm to be had. It’s by no means a blockbuster, but there is something captivating about seeing Dumbo take flight. The story itself is lacklustre, but if you read my Overrated Disney films post, you’d know that Dumbo is not high on my classics list. The human characters are basically props to wonder in awe at Dumbo, and while they try to tug the heartstrings with the family and the circus, they fail to add any real depth to them. Visually the film is quite striking, but the story leaves a lot to be desired for. Continue reading

Overrated Disney Animated Films

Last month, I did a feature on Disney’s underrated animated films. I found it really interesting to read about the films you thought were underrated, so I decided to take a look at some of the overrated Disney animated features. This list is bound to be divisive, but that’s part of the fun. So, here are the 5 Disney animated features that I think are overrated. 

Frozen

The single most overrated Disney film there is. Sure, Frozen has a great message in the sense of sisterhood, but when it comes to the plot, it’s not all that memorable. It’s easy to see why kids love this film. It has semi-catch songs, magic, the strength of sisterhood, and a talking snowman. However, if you were to give me a choice between Frozen and Tangled, I’d choose Tangled in a heartbeat. This is the film that will be hailed as an instant classic to our youngest generation, but there are so many other films released in this revival era of Disney animated films that have tighter storylines and memorable characters.
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Underrated Disney Animated Films

Disney’s animated classics are a staple to everyone’s childhood. They have produced some of the most compelling animated features over the years, so much so that even now they’re capitalising on the nostalgia and timelessness of classics in their live-action adaptations. There’s no denying that features like the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast deserve the praise and attention they get. However, there are several Disney animated classics that have an equally compelling story yet seem to fly under the radar. Here are some of the underrated Disney animated films that deserve more attention.

Oliver and Company

A classic twist on the tale of Oliver Twist, this film follows the shenanigans of an orphaned kitten, Oliver when a ragtag group of dogs adopt him into their family. Billy Joel lends his voice to the character of Dodger, the charismatic leader of this gang of thieving dogs and he oozes charisma which bleeds into his catchy musical number. This film also has a heartwarming message about the family you choose. Continue reading

Film Friday: Space Mission Gone Wrong, Intense Trail Rides, and Spider-Man’s European Adventure

It’s been a good couple of months for movie nights, and while it’s hard to find films that will please the entire family, this latest batch generally had us all in agreement. Some films were a disappointment,  others met expectations, and a few caught us off guard with how good they were. Here are the films I’ve been watching.

Spiderman: Far From Home

Let’s be real, Spiderman had a tough task of following the highest-grossing film in history. Endgame left fans reeling, and Spiderman had to find a balance between exploring the aftermath of the film while also standing apart as its own entity. Was it a success? Yes, I think it was. Tom Holland has always captured that youthful and mischievous enthusiasm of Spiderman, and here we see Peter Parker facing the realities of what it truly means to be a superhero. No more can he just be the friendly neighbourhood hero, and you feel the burden of this responsibility weighing on his shoulders. Jake Gyllenhaal was a welcome addition to the cast and his chemistry with Tom Holland allowed us to invest in the dynamic between them, making the culminating moments exciting and unpredictable. The post-credit scenes will have major consequences for Spiderman as his safety net is shattered.
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