I figured I would do something differently in place of the usual reading related posts. As I’ve blogged about before, I’ve been binge watching Disney and other cartoon movies and I did buy a bunch of action DVDs in preparation of COVID lockdown about a year ago. So this post will be in the spirit of my book discoveries- less review as opposed to personal summary. The more favourable ones appear on the top and I’m not covering all of the children ones. I’ve watched all of the ones on www.princessmovies.io and am making my way through www.kidsmovies.co/ right now. The children section will be much larger, I still haven’t got through the whole movie collection with Mum given that we went back to watching mainland Chinese spy thriller TV dramas instead.
Of the Disney princess series, I have very fond memories of Beauty and the Beast and I did reckon the live-action movie equivalent to be very true to the cartoon and I liked that as well. I also liked the Aladdin series, Brave, the first Mulan and the two Frozens. But to be honest, I actually preferred the old plain 2D cartoons as opposed to the newer ones which seemed to be heading toward 3D but using doll figures. Or that was the effect for me.
As a grown up now, I actually prefer live-action movies now. The ones I liked besides B&B include the Enchanted, and the two Maleficient movies. The Enchanted was basically Snow White and Cinderella retold and rolled into one- it was just light-hearted, entertaining and quite amusing. I liked the Maleficients because it provided an alternative retelling of Sleeping Beauty that flipped it on its head and I always like that for freshness. I did not like either the live-action Aladdin or Mulan. The former was not really an improvement on the cartoon version at all and dragged the story out with the introduction of the female empowerment theme. I mean seriously, in Aladdin? Mulan was also problematic because I was not a fan of how it went across to the realm of fantasy almost with the introduction of qi and the other elements that brought me out of the story as an ethnic Chinese such as the General yielding control to Mulan (that’s never going to happen in real life and I do expect there to be more adherence to reality for a live-action Mulan somehow).
I wasn’t expecting to like the Monster High series but I did. It spoke to the part of me that felt I was a little kinky and just the slightest anti-social. However, I was not keen on the newer movies somehow revamping the background of the school’s founding. It’s like finding an anachronism (something that doesn’t belong to a given era for those not familiar with the word) in a book or a TV drama/movie. The same went for the Swan Lake series- I could not believe they could turn the one fairytale into so many different movies, branching off it (granted, I think they borrowed from other tales for a number of them after they could not write further scripts involving Rothbart or Rothbart-equivalent’s come-back). I obviously liked the latter ones better, after the kids came along.
Of the Barbie series, I tend to like the ones starring Barbie and her 3 sisters because it was more about family and that’s a theme I prefer to the standard prince/princess tales. I also liked the one starring Barbie as the fairy Mariposa. Found the most recent Barbie movie Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams to be so-so even if it’s from the sisters series but that’s because this one just stars Barbie herself and has nothing on the other sisters.
The Smurfs trilogy held sentimental value for me because it was once my favourite cartoon. Then I liked the Croods duology about a caveman family and the New Grooves duology (Emperor’s New Groove and Kronk’s New Groove).
The Madagascar trilogy was actually rather fun and took me by surprise because I’m not actually fond of animals in general.
I was surprisingly moved to tears by the Trolls (caught me completely off guard) but I did not like Trolls: World Tour so much. I also had a similar experience with the Boss Baby: Back to Business. And on both occasions, that was driven by a song (not the same song). Perhaps just the right song at the right time.
Olympus has Fallen
This is a fast-paced action movie and the premise is just exciting- the White House overtaken by terrorists and the president being taken hostage? You get the idea. Mum and me also bought the other two of the series because I was slack (I felt like I was going cross-eyed at the JB Hi-Fi DVD movie aisle trying to select movies, eventually Mum and I teamed up, she would pick out all the DVDs based on the cover and I would read the blurb). These other two were no good, especially the third in the series. And we actually watched the trilogy in exact reverse chronological order, something I only realised because later I got curious and checked rotten tomatoes (something I should have done arguably when I picked the DVDs, ah well.)
This is a good thriller that gets you gripped with tension as the story line progresses. So this is on par with Olympus has Fallen actually, just a different sort of tension.
A Night in the Museum trilogy
I watched part of the first when I was at my GP (or family doctor) and enjoyed it- I tend to enjoy family-themed movies as well as action blockbusters (and I do think action blockbusters are getting into the realm of inferior products for me). So I binge watched the 3 movies in one day and enjoyed all 3. It’s got excitement but also heartwarming moments that just makes this so much my cup of tea and a general recommendation if you are viewing them as a family with children.
The new Jumanji duo
I was quite fond of the old one and I was not enthused about the new premise when I first learnt about it so I did not watch either at the movie theater. But now that I’ve watched both at kidsmovies, they are actually quite all right. Not as good for families with young kids as the original but perfectly good for families with teens or above.
I picked up the DVD for Will Smith. It was okay but I was not expecting the sci-fi-ish twist to the plot and did not like it. Had some action in it but nothing memorable that I could latch onto. It’s sort of on my indifferent rating, sliding towards meh but not yet meh.
Mostly a film of just mindless action and gun fights, flimsiest plot that does NOT support the big twist right at the end.