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[personal profile] dixon_green
I wrote most of this before Christmas, then forgot to update it and publish it before this morning. So, behind the cut:

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”
Sony Animation. Sequel. Have not seen. I did not see the original movie in the theaters, but I've seen most of it since then on cable. It's a better film than I originally judged it, but I'm not overly fond of that rubber band style of animation. Brightly colored and revels in word play (There's a leek in the boat!)



“The Croods”
Dreamworks. Better and worse than anticipated. Might have passed the Bechtel test, but I don't remember. The named female characters mostly seemed to talk to each other about how Dad was behaving/reacting, and what they needed/should do to manage him. Ish. And, I was not too happy as the movie shifted from being Eep's story to it being all about Dad. But, the environment was wildly colorful, incredibly creative, and just fun. I loved the saber tooth kitty, and yes, it was there for Marketing to sell. Still loved it.


“Despicable Me 2”
Minions! Better than expected, and better than the first, but tried too hard to tread the adult humor/kiddie plot line, and rather failed at both. Somewhat uneven character arcs, but, Minions! I swear some of the lead character designers and animators MUST have worked at Mainframe Entertainment at some point, 'cause those Minions are very reminiscent of the Binomes, and Gru's sigal bears some similaritles to ReBoot's icons.

“Epic”
Blue Sky. Pretty. Passes the Bechtel test. Rather charming in its own way, but really does not rise above it's source material.


“Ernest and Celestine”
French-Belgium film about an unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse. Have not seen.


“The Fake”
Korean film. Have not seen. A con uses Christianity to fleece and fool a town. Will not gather a nomination


“Free Birds“
Have not seen. Will not see.


“Frozen”

The latest addition to the Disney Princess Musical library. Marketing fail. I cannot believe how badly Marketing did promoting this film. Because this movie was WONDERFUL. Word of mouth absolutely saved this film - I was fully intending to give it a pass until I heard how it used all the Disney Princess troupes and turned the all inside out and STOMPED on them. The sisters were in conflict, but they were not enemies. The charming prince was charming, but his agenda had nothing to do with love. Damn, I really loved this movie.


“Khumba”
Entry from South Africa. Have not seen. Tropes of outcasting, bullying, superstition, save the day.


“The Legend of Sarila”
Have not Seen. Entry from Canada, supposedly its first full length 3D movie, which is odd considering how much made for TV 3D work Canada does. Of course, very little of that is original story, but made to order jobbing work. (ReBoot was original work, anything toy related is jobbing work). Incorporated Inuit stories, but nor sure how successfully. I think is has been renamed for a US release, but I'm not sure.


“A Letter to Momo”
An entry from Japan. Letter to a little girl from her dead father. Have not seen.


“Monsters University”
Pixar's latest, and a sequel. Prequel? It happened prior to Monster's Inc. Completely able to stand as an independent story, although the nods to Inc. are obvious. I think I like it better than Monster's Inc. I mean, it's a story about failure, and what happens next. Solid story, amazing animation. Pixar did a really good job with the secondary characters, and overall, it was just a delightful movie.


“O Apóstolo”
Stop motion entry from Spain. Have not seen.


“Planes”
Disney studios expansion to Pixar's Cars universe. Market must have just loved this film, then got so hung over on it that they forgot/failed to do any real work on Frozen. Did not see, have no plans to see.


“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion”
Magic Girl movie from Japan. Have not seen. Not going to get a nomination.


“Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury”
Have not seen. Entry from Brazil.


“The Smurfs 2”

This qualified? Have not, will not see. Heck, I reach for the brain bleach any time I happen to channel surf past the original Smurf movie.


“Turbo”
Another Dreamworks pic. Suspect I saw the best parts in the trailer. Did not see


“The Wind Rises”
Have not seen. Miazaki's last film before he retires (we'll see). It will make the requisite showings in LA and New York in December, but the general release date is in late February 2014. I wonder about this timing. A release date that close the Oscar ceremony is not going to help it get votes if it gets nominated. But, if it gets nominated, that in and of itself will get people into the theaters to see it. And, Disney is the distributor for the US releases of Mizazki's work. Disney has two other films that are in Oscar contention, and it knows how to play this game.





There are enough films for a slate of five nominees. Monster's University and Frozen are locks for nomination. The Wind Rises has a solid shot at a nomination because Miazaki, and a decent shot at winning because Mizaki's last movie.

And this is where I had stopped writing. From this mornings announcement, the nominees are: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, The Wind Rises, and Frozen. I though Monsters University was far better than the Croods, but maybe someone was trying to keep it from being too heavy a Disney slate, and I'm not surprised by Despicable Me 2 took a nominations. Ernest & Celestine is also the artsy film the Academy loves, but won't win. Frozen is going take the win in a walk.

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