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Movie Review: Grave of The Fireflies (1988)

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Grave of The Fireflies

Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary: Two siblings named Seita and Setsuko struggle to survive during the final months of World War II.

My Review: One of the best things about this film is the main characters Seita and Setsuko. Seita’s character is heartbreaking to watch as he is forced to grow up too soon to care for his younger sister Setsuko. Besides being very brave, he is the kindest brother toward Setsuko when he creates happy moments.

Setsuko is the sweetest little sister whose innocence is marred by the cost of war. Both characters loving nature toward each other is wonderful and sad to watch.

Another great aspect of the film is how the firefly is used as a metaphor for innocence. It is woven throughout the film in beautiful scenes as well as sad ones. It makes the film memorable and haunting for the viewer.

In addition, the soundtrack provides a poignant atmosphere for the film. It touches the viewer’s heart and lets you feel what Seita and Setsuko are feeling. Like the firefly metaphor, it is the most noticeable during certain moments.

Overall, this was a lovely and sad film to watch. If you enjoyed films like Schindler’s List, then see this film with some tissues.

Written by Serena Zola

March 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Movie Review: Frozen (2013)

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Frozen, disney film

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Plot Summary (Taken from IMDB): Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

My Review: One of the best things about this film is the music. “Vuelie”, the opening song of the movie, is beautiful. It’s reprise is also lovely and appropriate for the scene it is heard in. In addition,  the songs involving Elsa and Anna as kids and adult princesses are cute and emotional. Furthermore, Idina Menzel’s song “Let It Go” has terrific vocals.

Besides the music, the animation was amazing at times. It is at its best during scenes with lots of snow, water, and ice. It looks so real you could almost touch it!

In addition, there are a couple of twists in the film’s plot that saved it from being too cheesy.  One was unexpected and should be done a little more often and the other was noble and touching.

The only flaw in the film was the character of Elsa. She could have been developed a little more. Yes, she’s a person with ice powers who pushes others away, but what else?

Overall, the film is a nice and poignant work about the bond between sisters. I recommend it to families and any Disney fan.

Here is the song for “Do You Wanna Be a Snowman?” (it’s one of the best songs in the film and goes from little kid Anna to adult Anna singing to Elsa)

Written by Serena Zola

December 30, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Movie Review: Brave (2012)

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Plot Summary (Taken from IMDB): Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

One of the notable things about this film is that Merida is Pixar’s first female protagonist. She certainly isn’t a damsel in distress, because she can use a bow and arrow well and hold her own in the wild. Once the beastly curse shows up, Merida does her best to overcome it.

Another notable thing about the film is the soundtrack. Since the film’s setting is in Scotland, Celtic music was used to immerse the viewer into the land. It gave the film a magical ambiance that was enjoyable. Some notable songs include “Fate and Destiny”, “I Am Merida”, and “Noble Maiden Fair”.

Besides Merida and the soundtrack, the animation was beautifully done. According to a TIME magazine article, the animation system had been rewritten. It hadn’t been done in twenty-five years, but it worked. The most striking thing in the film is Merida’s long mane of curly hair, which looks so real you could touch it.

Despite the positive aspects of the film, the plot ruined my enjoyment of it. The film’s trailer did a good job not revealing it, showing  just enough to attract people’s interest. When the  plot was revealed in the film, my reaction was, “That’s it?”  Given Pixar’s reputation for great stories, I was expecting something more thought out and creative. Instead, the plot felt like a magical version of a certain 2003 Disney family film.

Simply put, this film could have been so much better. If you love animated fantasy films, then feel free to give this a shot. However, if you are a huge Pixar fan like me, then you might want to avoid this one.

Written by Serena Zola

May 5, 2013 at 10:30 AM

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