Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a review for the latest Pixar film, Coco.
Anyway here’s the episode 47:
I’ve done already done my written review for Coco, however, there were a few more aspects of the film that I didn’t get into in my initial review and as usual being able to talk about anything through your voice allows your passion to shine through far better than text in my opinion. So if you don’t like reading, prefer the sound of audio-based reviews and have some time to spare then check out my review. 🙂
As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂
So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀
Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to another quick review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve been waiting to see for AGES! The latest film from Pixar; Coco. Now when I heard about the film before there was any visual marketing I thought it sounded alright, but I wasn’t too interested. It wasn’t until I heard some of the music during a Michael Giacchino live concert and saw early positive reviews online. Luckily there was an early preview at my cinema over the weekend, I saw it yesterday and I’m ready to pass judgement! 😀
The plot can be summed up as the following: “Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.“
The story in this film was wonderful, the film is full of charm, humour, drama and emotion, excitement and adventure, life lessons and all that good stuff that you’ve come to expect from a Pixar film, but how it goes about presenting these elements is quite unique and captivating. I love how this film presents Mexican culture and while I can’t speak to how authentic it is, it felt real and insightful. Also, the way this film handles themes related to the important family, death and remembering those who have passed on, that was handled so well. But I think what made the film for me was dramatic/emotional moments, there were some really dark and surprising reveals that caught me off guard, but I was glad it was put into the story. But there were also some sweet, heartwarming and sad moments that almost made me tear up too. The only negative I put against the film is that if you’ve seen a Pixar film or animated film in general then you’ll recognise the story beats straight away and be able to predict how the narrative flows and progresses.
The vocal performances from everyone involved were great. Anthony Gonzalez was really good as Miguel Rivera, as the main character you can understand his aspirations and mindset especially if you’ve been in a similar situation with your family where you want to be yourself and not be restricted. His journey from start to finish is fun, sad and engaging. Gael García Bernal was lovely as Héctor Rivera, he is a charming and tricky kind of guy who you eventually realise has some hidden layers to him and seeing him and Miguel build their bond over the course of the film is so special. Benjamin Bratt was really good as Ernesto de la Cruz, he’s one of the most memorable characters I’ve seen in a Pixar film for a while because of his story, personality and how he ties into Miguel’s story. Alanna Ubach was incredible as Mamá Imelda Rivera, she was such a fiery and passionate person and I really liked her backstory too. Renée Victor was great as Abuelita Elena Rivera, she’s Miguel’s grandmother who can be kind and caring one minute and extremely aggressive and sassy the next. Ana Ofelia Murguía was also good as Mamá Socorro “Coco” Rivera and Edward James Olmos did a nice job as Chicharrón too.
From a presentation standpoint, the film is great. Visually the film is great, there’s a vivid colour palette with striking lighting and creative designs when it comes to the skeleton characters and the Land of the Dead. There is a nice balance between realism and the more cartoonish aspects, with the animation everything is fluid and the characters are super charismatic and elastic, while the art direction is so good with characters having a great deal of variety in the shape, size and clothing and the look of buildings, creatures and several other things look great as well. Also, the film score from my man Michael Giacchino was lovely, it had a large and notable presence throughout, it was playful, fun, and delightful, but also intense, creepy and melancholy, and the songs written by Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina, Robert Lopez, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez were lovely especially “Remember Me“. In conclusion, Coco was everything I wanted and then some, it had heart, humour, adventure, surprises and really good themes in the story too. While it didn’t rock my world, it left a good feeling in my soul and you should give it a watch. 😀
So have you seen Coco and if so what did you think of it? And how do you compare it to Pixar’s previous films? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀
Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2017! This is my preview of upcoming films that I believe deserve your attention this year. In PART 1 I covered films from January to March, in PART 2 I covered April to July and in this post I’ll be covering August to December.
Now before we begin I have two main things I need to point out:
Obviously a lot of films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
2016 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there. 😛
Okay then, let’s start 😀
Release Date: August 11th (USA & UK)
I am a massive fan of Edgar Wright and I will follow his career wherever it goes, and while I will always wonder what he would have brought to Ant-Man, I still respect his decision, plus his original projects are always more interesting. I like the sound of the premise and the cast is also impressive including Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey and Jon Bernthal among others.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Release Date: August 18th (USA & UK)
I just looked this film up and it sounds like it could be fun, while I’m always dubious of comedies these days, action comedies at least have some spectacle that I’ll enjoy and the premise sounds like it could be worth watch, plus this cast is interesting including Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Élodie Yung, and Salma Hayek, I’m down.
Release Date: August 25th (UK), September 29th (USA)
I’m always looking forward to Doug Liman’s next project especially after Edge of Tomorrow and the fact that he’s teamed up with Tom Cruise on this project gives me hope that the film will be worth a watch. The premise sounds interesting and I am curious to see how those real life events translate to the big screen.
Release Date: September 22nd (USA & UK)
Here’s the premise: “A drama based on the elite crew of men who battled Yarnell Hill Fire, a wildfire in Prescott, Arizona in June 2013 that claimed the lives of 19 of their members.” I may have heard about this film’s production on Collider Movie talk before or some other film-related site, but reading about the premise it sounds like a captivating and intriguing story to be brought to the big screen. I’m really curious to see how Joseph Kosinski handles this film, so far he’s made Tron: Legacy and Oblivion, both films I enjoyed but were more style over substance, though I liked the latter film more for its story and mystery, so maybe with a more grounded story he’ll be able bring something new. Oh and I’m liking this cast including Jennifer Connelly, Taylor Kitsch, Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Miles Teller and Ben Hardy (who will have more to do than he did in X-Men: Apocalypse) and Alex Russell who I haven’t seen since Chronicle.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Release Date: September 29th (UK), October 6th (USA)
Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of the best surprises from 2014 and I think ended up in my top 5 of that year, it was so fun, action-packed, hilarious and violent and totally had all of the best qualities that come with a Matthew Vaughn film, but was also self-aware and had some good pop culture references too. So when I heard there’d be a sequel, part of me was wanting to leave the first film alone, but I was also curious to see where this series would go. So now we have the sequel with a cast possibly more impressive than the last including newcomers Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Elton John? This should be an interesting adventure an I hope it can be the badass sequel it has the potential to be.
Blade Runner 2049
Release Date: October 6th (USA & UK)
At this current pont in time I haven’t seen the first Blade Runner, I know, blasphemy right? All I can say is that I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I obviously will have seen it by the time this sequel comes out later on this year. I was never overly interested in a sequel to this film until Denis Villeneuve was attached to direct, I haven’t even the entire teaser trailer, this film is a mystery to me and I’m curious to see how it unfolds.
Release Date: October 13th (USA & UK)
I don’t know much about this film besides the fact that it’s a crime thriller based around a detective who investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman, it’s directed by the man who did Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (the former I liked and the latter I didn’t) and it stars my peeps Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson, so those facts altogether have me interested.
Release Date: October 13th (USA)
Here we have another interesting film with no UK release date, but there’s a great cast and director and a fun premise. I’m always interested ina comedy if the right kind of people are behind it and his you have Steven Soderbergh in the director’s chair I’m already intrigued, but then you add a cast including Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, Seth MacFarlane, Daniel Craig, Katherine Heigl, Hilary Swank and Sebastian Stan? I’m all over it, I really hope the trailer is good when it gets released.
Release Date: October 13th (USA) October 20th (UK)
All I know is that I like action thrillers and with a cast that includes Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Banks and Patrick Wilson I’m pretty excited to see how this turns out, especially with because you can never have enough Sam Neil. 😀
Release Date: October 27th (UK), November 3rd (US)
I’m unapologetic about my love for Thor from 2011, while not a perfect film, I think there was a lovely sense of wonder, mythology, fun and interesting themes and character elements introduced into not only that film but also the MCU as a whole… And then there’s Thor: The Dark World, one of the most, if not the most forgettable film in the MCU, while there were some cool aspects with Thor and Loki and some action scenes, overall the film was a massive step down for me. And now we have Thor 3, a film that will have: 1) Thor and Hulk together (they had some of the best scenes in The Avengers). 2) Taika Waititi in the directing chair which is awesome. 3) Some adaptation of the Planet Hulk storyline, yay! 4) And a crazy impressive cast including Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins. This has the potential to be really good, but we’ll see.
Release Date: November 17th (USA & UK)
I’m so dubious of this film, while I do want it to succeed I just don’t know if I’ll get a version of the characters that I liked from the animated shows that I enjoyed in the teenage years. Now I know as an adaptation there will be changes from the comics to screen, however, with Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, I feel like there were some unnecessary changes to the basic elements of Superman and Batman in terms of the characters, tone and story that made them a little unlikable for me and some other fans. Now with Justice League, that first footage they showed at Comic-Con last year was interesting for sure and I liked some elements, but I don’t know if it will be a film I’ll like overall. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Release Date: November 22nd (USA) December 8th (UK)
Well here we have another new Pixar film which isn’t a sequel or prequel, but an original film and I’m interested but dubious for one key reason; the story is based on the Mexican holiday The Day of the Dead. The reason I am a little less excited about this film is because we’ve already had a film based around this holiday in the form The Book of Life and then there was the opening sequence in Spectre that had a big focus on that event too. Now I know that this film will have its own original take on the holiday and will have those Pixar elements that will make it special, but I guess I need a trailer in order to be swayed.
Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 22nd (USA) November 24th (UK)
I’m usually not down with remakes of older films especially if the original was pretty good, but if there is a chance that a new filmmaker can add a new perspective that wasn’t able to be done beforehand then I’m at least interested… And that is the case with this film. I liked the 1974 film when I saw it in college, but I never had a crazy attachment to it, so when I heard that there was going to be another version to be directed by Kenneth Branagh, I was all over it. Plus the cast for this film is insanity with Daisy Ridley, Kenneth Branagh, Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Michael Peña and Michelle Pfeiffer? Madness, I really hope this film is good.
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Release Date: December 15th (USA & UK)
Rogue One may not have been for everyone but I and numerous other fans across the world certainly enjoyed it, but let’s be real, everyone was waiting for Episode VIII. Besides the addition of Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro and some comments from Rian Johnson about a heavy focus on Luke and Rey’s relationship and what was going on with Luke Skywalker since Return of the Jedi, there’s not much else to go on. All I want is more drama, character development, some more darkness, more Kylo Ren and Snoke, and finally some sweet Luke lightsaber action, that’s all I could ever want.
Pitch Perfect 3
Release Date: December 22nd (USA & UK)
I will never hide my love for Pitch Perfect, it was one of my favourite music-based film experiences in the cinema in years, it was such a pleasant surprise and cemented my love for Anna Kendrick forever. But then Pitch Perfect 2 came out, and I was stupid hyped for that sequel, but it was a disappointment, not a terrible film, but nowhere near as clever or as fun as the previous film. So when I heard there would be another sequel I wasn’t too keen, but because I like these characters I know I’ll be back to see this new film, I just hope the music, humour and story is better this time around.
The Greatest Showman
Release Date: December 25th (USA) December 29th (UK)
While I am interested in the story for the film, it is the cast that really have my interest. Seeing Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Williams together makes me very happy, plus I’m curious to see what Zendaya will bring to this film too. Plus it is a musical and while I’m not the biggest fan of those, I have been watching more over the last few years from Les Misérables to Sing Street and La La Land so I’m more open to them than I was before.
So finally that’s PART 3 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and coming back to see my Most Anticipated Films of 2017! Laters 😀