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Movie Review: Big Hero 6 (2014)

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Big Hero 6

Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary (Taken from Wikipedia): The story of a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada, who forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain responsible for the death of Hiro’s older brother.

My Review: One of the best things about the film is the characters that form Big Hero 6: Hiro Hamada, Baymax, Fred, Gogo Tomago, Wasabi, and Honey Lemon. The entire team is a racially diverse group of science nerds, but each of them have their own quirks and develop cool powers. For instance, Fred is a comic enthusiast  and Wasabi is overly cautious yet level-headed.

Of the entire group, the characters that stand out the most are Baymax and the film’s main character Hiro Hamada. Baymax is a giant marshmallow robot that serves only as a healthcare companion at first. As the film progresses, he gets an awesome heroic upgrade and also helps Hiro deal with his grief. Meanwhile, Hiro is a relatable character for anyone who has lost a loved one or is trying to find their true potential.

Besides the characters, the plot is very good. It took your standard superhero film and gave it more heart and humor. Poignant themes include grief, creativity, and revenge. Furthermore, there is lots of action-adventure that kids and adults will enjoy.

In addition to the characters and plot, the setting was great. The fusion of Japan and San Francisco in the city is amazing. Furthermore, Japanese anime and pop culture fans will be pleased to see references to things such as such as the Power Rangers, kaiju, and mecha.

A final aspect of the film that was enjoyable was the animation. It made the super powers look amazing and the setting really eye-catching. The best work was during the climax of the movie in a very vivid scene that is reminiscent of the imagery found in Hayao Miyazaki fantasy films.

Overall, this was a fantastic film. I recommend this to Japanese anime fans and kids and adults alike.



Written by Serena Zola

November 19, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Movie Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

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The Lego Movie

Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary (Taken from IMDB): An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.

My Review:  One of the best things about this film is the animation. The Lego world is so colorful and bright, the viewer will want to jump into the movie. Sometimes, the Lego world looks real enough that you forget its animated.

Another aspect of the film that is good is the voice acting. Will Ferrell is fantastic as both President Business and The Man Upstairs. Liam Neeson is just as great as Good Cop/Bad Cop.  Morgan Freeman lending his godly voice to Vitruvius is perfect. Other highlights include Alison Brie as Princess Unikitty.

Besides the animation and voice acting, the plot of the film was creative, humorous, and heartwarming. The Lego world felt like a hilarious satire of real-life, especially with the theme song “Everything is Awesome!” Yet, behind that world is also a touching message about uniqueness and creativity.

In addition, the film’s universal appeal is good. There’s comedy, action-adventure, romance, and a little drama. Furthermore, the characters are something kids and adults can relate to.

Overall, the film is great.  I recommend this film to everyone.

Written by Serena Zola

August 13, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Musician Spotlight: The Track Team

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In less than two weeks, the cartoon series Legend of Korra will premiere with its second season. In honor of that, I’ve decided to spotlight the two people known as The Track Team, Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn. Together, they have composed the music for Legend of Korra as well as its successful animated predecessor Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The music for both series uses orchestral and world instruments to make a unique soundtrack for both series. Each instrument fits either a particular character or moment well enough to immerse the viewer in the show.  For instance, the tsungi horn is a fictional instrument from ATLA. It is associated with the characters Uncle Iroh and Prince Zuko.  Its sound was created by using an Armenian reed instrument called the duduk.

The most notable thing about the music of ATLA and LOK is that the length of a track doesn’t matter. It is always just enough for a particular moment.  For example, one of my favorite tracks from ATLA is called Cave Jivin. While the entire song is for one particular scene, there is a moment in the song reserved for two characters, Aang and Katara. To see that moment in the episode where this song plays is amazing.

Of course, the best way to experience the music of Avatar The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is to watch both series. I recommend starting with Avatar The Last Airbender so you aren’t confused by its universe and storyline.   To sum up everything, I present the official ATLA series finale trailer as it was shown in 2008.  It is my second favorite example of the music being one with the animation and storyline.


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