May 31, 2017

Movie : Sing (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 11:16 am

image.jpgInteresting movie. It is so unlike the trailers that it takes you by surprise a bit. Let me explain before someone says ‘What the hell do you mean? It is exactly like the trailers’.  Yes, the animation is as good as the trailers, the story is about music, which comes out loud and clear in the trailers (heck, look at the title of the movie and you know what it is about), the humour is there right through the movie, as trailers promise. And I did not mean that the surprise I got was a nasty or negative surprise. I did not expect to see the movie as two movies in one. That is all.


On the surface is all that animation, humour, and crazy antics of the animals. The animation is top class and the expressions on all those animals are top class. However, there is a parallel story of passion for music, dreams turning into dust and then rebuilt again from those ashes to make a sensational success. The story about how ordinary people trapped in their ordinary lives rise to extraordinary heights animated by a single passion that unites them, a kind of diversity story where different ‘animals’ come together in harmony to produce something that is classic; how seemingly annoying characters could and will have a heart of gold. That story could have been told with people as actors and would still have been beautiful. With animation of this class, it does lift it to another plane and makes this movie memorable long after you have seen it.


The base story is simplistic and even comes across as a children’s tale. There is not much here that cannot be summed up in a paragraph but what makes it great are the little nuances and embellishments they have poured into the thing. A simple typing error generates dreams of fame in diverse people and the ordinary auditions are moved to a higher plane by the extraordinary circumstances of each family and what they have to do in order to be a part of something great – when the something that they aspired to is not even what they thought it was, but a small time audition for a small time musical.


The story is about Buster Moon, a koala bear, voiced by Mathew McConaughey. His assistant is the hilarious Miss Crawley (voiced by director Garth Jennings). They hit upon auditioning for a musical to revive their flagging theatre. The various characters who audition, the trials and tribulations, the ruin they face, the disillusionment of the people who came to sing when they realize how small (or fake) the prize money is, is the rest of the story.


The fun is in the characters themselves. The brash and loud but  stylish Gunter  and the shy housewife Rosita (both pigs) and the husband Norman of Rosita who does not even notice her struggling with their 25 children. You have Johnny the gorilla who is encouraged by his father to be part of his gang of looters but wants only to sing; the more talented Ash (porcupine, voiced by Scarlett Johanssen) whose boyfriend Lance, who has less talent always ignores and insults her at every turn. Meena the Elephant sings like a diva but does not know how good her own voice is. There is the selfish Mike the mouse.


I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone who can get past the preconceived notion of watching a simple children’s story embellished with good characters, art and wit.


7/ 10

– – Krishna





June 26, 2016

Movie: X Men : Apocalypse (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 12:12 am

imageAll your favourite characters are here. Except one of the most famous, the Wolverine.  Also you get to know how the young Xavier whom we met in the previous XMen movie as a young man, becomes bald and crippled.


You also meet some new characters (Angel, for instance) that is nice. But otherwise it is the gsame XMen kind of movie.


The story starts with ancient times in – where else? – Egypt. The supervillain this time is Apocalypse himself, with the Four Horsemen in toe. He is trying to move his essence into a younger body so that he may live on, but a people’s revolt stops it midstream and buries him under rubble, frozen forever until he is disturbed again. Which on cue, happens in our times (OK in the 1980s) due to an earthquake.


Meanwhile, Magneto is quietly working in a factory, as an ordinary man, trying to make a living with a wife and a daughter, hiding his identity. When he saves a man from certain death, he has to do so by revealing his power over machinery and is castigated for it and his daughter calls birds to attack the officers who came to arrest the father. One soldier accidentally kills the wife and daughter and Magneto kills them all with a chain that was hanging on his daughter’s neck.


Meanwhile, Angel, a mutant with wings is challenging to combat others and a fellow mutant called NightCrawler, who can move anywhere like smoke, who is caged inside an electrified cage (so not being able to escape out). When things look very bad for NightCrawler, Mystique (the famed Jennifer Lawrence) saves him, burning Angel’s wings in the process.


We meet Scott Summers whose eyes can burn anything until in Xavier’s school, they give him glasses to protect others and also enable him to see.


The Apocalypse tries to rally all the mutants against the XMen. With some (Magneto and others) on his side and XMen split into law abiding (Ironman)  and law defying groups, there is plenty of potential for turning XMen against XMen until all ends well.


The thrills are there. The story is too comic-book-like to narrate in detail. If you liked the previous one, you will enjoy this one too.

–  –  Krishna

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