While the narrative does ultimately work, there are quite a few speed bumps along the way. The opening and ending of the movie don't belong as they utilize uninspired tropes that make you feel like your watching a completely different thing. Then there are two separate moments where the score is overbearing and ruins some genuine heart to hearts or dispirits the final act. These problems all play into a bigger issue that goes beyond Pixar films. The act of cutting off emotional resonance with a joke or music cue is used to relieve the audience of brunting any emotional work. It's a modern problem that gives viewers a pass as filmmakers only want people to cry at the very end. I wish those moments could be given room to breathe.
Pixar has always seemed more interested in telling stories than chasing digital superiority. Unlike recent Disney Animation movies, there was never an instance where I thought I was looking at something real. The more stylized approach works here as the fantasy setting ends up validating itself by the end. Even though photorealism isn't achieved here, the animation technology on display is no slouch. The hair on characters melds the abundant strands with a course look that makes it the best hair I've seen in animation. Magical effects are wonderfully rendered and realized.
Onward is the best thing from Pixar since Up. It has the heart, it looks great, and my entire theater clapped... twice. It's a safe bet to take the whole family to when it comes out on March 6, and everyone will have a good time. Children and adults laughed, awed, and the adults teared up. I hope this is a sign that Pixar will go back to making moving animated stories that hit the mark. Not only would audiences finally be going to movies that are worth their time, but the whole industry would benefit too.
I hope this isn't an Incredibles 2 moment where I really like it then realize its not that good
With the music hindered, it was all on the story to keep the movie going. Infamously, Frozen was majorly changed at the last minute since Elsa was supposed to be a villain; this is not brought up as a vote of confidence. The level at which Frozen 2 fails at telling a compelling narrative is massive. It starts by retconning aspects of the first film and continues to snowball (heh) from there. Anna goes from having goals in 2013 to being a passive character now. Events just happen to her, and she barely participates. Not a single character has anything resembling an arc; they're all static, unchanged from the beginning to the end. The movie tries to hide its shortcomings by heavy-handedly shoving paper-thin character motivations in your face. Exposition dumps group together with characters always telling you how they feel; show don't tell should be the most obvious rule to follow.
From a big-picture perspective, the film stumbles as it tries to set up mysteries and lessons early on. These would only work if everything wasn't so obvious and if the movie didn't keep referencing them every other scene. It also has one of the most bizarre third acts I've ever seen, lasting a max of 20 minutes. Right as a huge revelation is revealed, and characters are put in difficult situations, everything resolves in a snap. I can't elaborate as it would contain spoilers, but the rate at which all hope is lost turns to everything is alright flashes by.
Frozen 2 isn't inventive enough either. There are three separate references to "Do You Want to Build a Snowman"; THREE. It takes ideas, aspects, and structure from the first film so often that it felt like Deja Vu. Some might mischaracterize this as nostalgia, but movies have been struggling to spawn sequels for decades. Even the lightweight queerbaiting is back, only more prominent than before.
Two things did put a smile on my face, the first being the animation. There were so many little touches that added to the overall character, so many references where you blink, and you'll miss them. Some are character movements, and others are presentation nods, it's wild how many there are. The second thing is the texturing and rendering technology on display. Disney proves once again that no one is close to achieving the level of fidelity that they can reach. Some landscapes and backgrounds look photorealistic. It honestly is impressive stuff and blew my mind each time I saw it.
Frozen 2 is pretty bad. It was at its best during the first act since it played to the brand's strength. Olaf was able to make me laugh, and there was a budding curiosity on what adventure the cast was going to embark on. Once that all came crashing down, my head was propped up by my hand as I sighed my way through the rest of the runtime. There was clapping when the credits rolled so you might enjoy it, but I cannot recommend it.
The music during the credits are the songs sung by professionals and its great
values, Toy Story 4 takes a page from the first movie and centers on Woody. Most of the pretense of being a toy is ripped away as a story about moving on and deciding when it's right to focus on yourself takes center stage.
The change of pace was the main factor of enjoyment for me. Cutting out the beloved cast and pushing new characters into the spotlight broke the series from its holding pattern. Nothing is lost with the absence of favorites though as keeping an emotional center grounds the experience. Not having to divide screen time across a large cast allows for more time with Woody, cementing his hold on the franchise.
With all of that praise out of the way, I can tell you that this is not a perfect film. It lacks a strong sense of energy to propel the plot forward. For a movie so reliant on its ability to stir emotions, this is counter-intuitive to making you feel them. Instead of developing strong relationships between characters, it leans heavily on the soundtrack to get a rise out of the audience. The constant battle to keep you entertained is sabotaged with a slower pace, stagnating the overall feeling of the film.
Toy Story 4 relies heavily on the viewer to fill in blanks, hoping they had seen the three previous entries. In its attempt to tell a smaller story, it discovers something new but doesn't have the juice to make it compelling. Too reliant on old tricks and the use of too many crutches, it stumbles and ends up being an average movie. Sure, Disney is the only studio able to afford the amazing rendering technology to make features look this good, but the loss to Spider-Man speaks volumes. All of that doesn't matter though as movie-goers will come out in droves to see it. Toy Story 4 is not for kids, its made for the adults who have grown with the property, and tells a story for them. Hilariously, it's still one of the best movies in theaters, so you don't have to wait for it on streaming.
Please, no more Toy Story movies
shot of some rocks. To say that the film looked particularly dazzling would be lying, this is just more of the same and doesn't wow.
I could talk about how the characters are paper thin, that the story spends time in needless areas, and that there didn't need to be a "bad guy". All of these things are valid, but I feel like I am repeating myself in my reviews. It seems all made for kids/family movies are dropping in quality. Never letting the audience soak in complex emotions and telling the viewer what to think and how to feel. This movie isn't exciting, though the person jiggling their foot on the back of my chair would argue. There are no real stakes, the villain isn't set-up that well, and this is just a disappointing conclusion to the franchise.
But its ok to like this movie. I know a lot of people really enjoyed what they saw, and that's fine. Just because the best parts are about animals being cute doesn't mean that this movie needs to be buried alive; just be skeptical when someone says its really good.
I don't even want to rate this/10
I guess you forgo character development and story if you got cute dragons
The creativity put into bringing the world to life was amazing to see and made the film more enjoyable. Huge shoutout to Batman since he's probably the best character, again, because he is given some of the funniest moments.
There were a couple of things that did make it hard for me to fully enjoy the movie though. I did not realize I was going to be watching a musical and probably would have liked to know that before I saw it. The Lego Movie 2 also used much more live action footage than I was expecting, which I did not enjoy. It used so much of it in fact, I thought I was watching a live action Toy Story movie at times. I can fully respect how the first movie handled the difference between the Lego world and the real one, but this film has a plot point that defies logic which made it hard for me to accept.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part comes down to how much work you want to put into finding more enjoyable aspects of the movie; it’s here where its true value comes out. There are enough jokes throughout for kids to enjoy it and for a middle-aged lady to laugh louder than everyone else. It’s exactly the same as the first in that respect; if you like the first, you’ll enjoy the second. Do you need to rush out on release day to see it?— not really, but the decision ultimately comes down to you. All I can say is: I laughed and was annoyed— which created a completely balanced experience for me.
I want to thank the advertising team for not spoiling the movie in the trailers
the people around him. This is a slight complaint, and a compliment, in comparison to the thing that really hurts the movie for me. Since it starts out so strong, it makes me sad to say that the quality does dip. There are two moments where the visuals and soundtrack create amazing moments that the story does not support. Miles' relationships with most characters are thin, so when the film asks you to care, it can be hard to fulfill that request.
It does a great job of showing how hard life can be when you want to become Spider-Man. It nails the crushing experiences with the mantra "get back up no matter how hard you get pushed down". In committing to that great message, it never shows the growth from learning that lesson. Miles goes from zero to hero in the span of a couple of minutes. As a character it makes sense, but to become a full-fledged veteran Spider-Man overnight was hard to buy.
It still ends up being the best movie I've seen this year. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is labeled by many as "the best in the series" or "the best Spider-Man story". To me, I realize that this movie wouldn’t work without all the other mainstream Spider-Man stories; comparing them wouldn’t be fair. You should look at this movie like this: Spider-Man is a popular property; it now has an animated movie that tells a story about what it would be like if YOU were chosen to be Spider-Man". Ironically, that's the message of Spider-Man anyways, but this movie is built upon respecting legacy without you even needing to know any of it. I can't wait for the sequel if it's this good.
The voice cast did a great job, but next time leave Peter Porker at home
The rest of it fell into a few different categories. There were large stretches of runtime that bored me out of my mind. Creatively bankrupt ideas or just uncompelling plot points littered this movie. If I wasn't being bored to death, I was cringing at how many references the movie tried to show off. I don't want to see Miranda Sings react to being disconnected from the internet, I don't want to see a cameo by Fortnite, or how to make money online by being an internet celebrity. And the most damaging thing about this movie came down to it simply not having a good story.
Some people will say that movies for children shouldn't be complex, that they need to be easy for kids to understand. Pixar is a pretty good example of how this sentiment is wrong, along with Disney Animations' previous movies like Zootopia. Having characters run around for an hour and a half doing nothing but showing off all the ways websites were turned into places, isn't a plot. There is barely a story in the movie to criticize. The end of it makes you wait for something important to happen, and even then, it was an homage to a different movie.
Ralph Breaks the Internet doesn't use its runtime to build its characters up. In place of that, it has its characters react to things in a very ‘internet’ way. Whether it's Ralph doing a hot pepper challenge, Vanellope watching a "Which Princess Would Be Your Best Friend" quiz, or dealing with hateful online comments. It seems like content that would literally be made on the internet, not in a Hollywood Production.
When the movie does get around to developing its characters, it does so both hastily and obviously. The movie never lets characters sit with their emotions; it never lets the audience brood with them. Instead, there always has to be an immediate response to everything that happens. Plus, the way the main problem manifests itself is such a movie cliche at this point and it wasn’t even done in an interesting way. Having a bunch of small things group together and form one big monster is something I do not want to see more of.
I was looking forward to enjoying Ralph Breaks the Internet because I liked the first movie so much. A better version of "The Emoji Movie" was what I was expecting, but in the end, I only got a marginally better movie. I guess if you have kids you could take them to see this movie since one in my theater never stopped talking. Overall, this movie was a pretty big let down and the worst movie Disney Animations has made since transitioning to 3D animation.
Being hip with the kids is cool, right?
However, the movie runs into a few problems on its way to grow the Grinch's heart three sizes. It takes detours that don't help portray the lesson trying to be taught by the original story. The Grinch, written by Dr. Seuss, was about a green-haired person who hated Christmas and overcame that hatred when he found out that the holiday was about caring for one another instead of gifts. This movie decided that they needed to add a backstory for the Grinch which overall made him less mean. There are multiple instances where the Grinch is nice, which makes his change seem inevitable. They also add a subplot for Cindy-Lou to have a bigger part in the story but make her motivations too mature. A ten-year-old would not ask Santa for their parent to become happy; that would be too unrealistic in a movie with a Christmas tree the size of a mountain.
If the Grinch is just a lonely person, why wouldn't he change at the end of the story? If he is nice all the time, why wouldn't he give the stolen presents back? The movie hinders itself by making a ton of gags in place of substance. So I had fun watching this movie because of all the silly jokes, but I can't overlook how the story didn't feel right. I could never buy all the "bad" things the Grinch did because he was never terrible. The movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" from 1966 is the better animated movie for adapting a classic right. Sure, it has too much motion blur and its not as good as the 30-minute tv-movie from 1966, but at least its almost Christmas season.
"It wont make your heart grow three sizes" - Anonymous
Other than these songs, there is nothing specifically negative about the movie. The whole idea is clever, and the messages about society to real life are nice, but the story element is a little lacking. The whole resolution and how the movie gets to its ending doesn't make sense. It feels lazy the way it wraps itself up. Not only do the events that lead to the end of the movie feel wrong, but the ending itself doesn't make sense.
I guess you can explain away the story faults by saying it's a children's movie but it's still annoying. I want to reiterate that the movie ends up being fine. Even though it definitely has its problems it's still the best thing you can take a child to see in theaters right now.
All the visual jokes were in the trailer