Film Reviews by CR

Welcome to CR's film reviews page. CR has written 7 reviews and rated 157 films.

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Bahubali: The Beginning

A Truly Delightful Surprise!

(Edit) 07/05/2019

Speaking as someone who for the most part really doesn't care for fantasy war epics, I was genuinely astounded at how enticing these films were. Dare I say it, more-so than the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

The story is more straightforward than LOTR but no less immense, the musical-numbers are catchy and entertaining despite the language barrier, and aside from the odd duff CG effect – It's honestly astonishing how few and far between they are given these movie's relatively low budgets compared to those in Hollywood –– there is eye-candy galore in these films! Truly two of the most beautiful-looking movies I've ever seen!

I couldn't;t be more glad to call this the first ever Indian movie I've watched.

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Bahubali 2: The Conclusion

A Truly Delightful Surprise!

(Edit) 07/05/2019

Speaking as someone who for the most part really doesn't care for fantasy war epics, I was genuinely astounded at how enticing these films were. Dare I say it, more-so than the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

The story is more straightforward than LOTR but no less immense, the musical-numbers are catchy and entertaining despite the language barrier, and aside from the odd duff CG effect – It's honestly astonishing how few and far between they are given these movie's relatively low budgets compared to those in Hollywood –– there is eye-candy galore in these films! Truly two of the most beautiful-looking movies I've ever seen!

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Dumbo

His Heart is as Big as His Ears

(Edit) 07/03/2017

When I went to Disneyland paris, Dumbo the Flying Elephant was a ride I had no real interest in, but found myself surprisingly enjoying. And weirdly, the move it’s based on, Dumbo, has had pretty much the same affect on me.

There are two ESPECIALLY great scenes in this movie! Firstly, there’s the “Baby Mine” scene, where Dumbo and his mother are sharing what they believe to be their last experience together, even though they can’t see one other being on opposite sides of the wall. Not only is she locked up unjustly for just trying to defend her son from being bullied, but this scene captures the pure love between a parent and their child. He doesn’t need to earn anything, or help her escape or do anything grand. She loves him unconditionally, just the way he is, and makes sure her goodbye to him is a lasting one. By word, this scene really tugged at my heartstrings!

The other is the Elephants on Parade, when Dumbo and Timothy accidentally get drunk ad hallucinate the pink elephants. Whilst this scene doesn’t add anything to the story, what this brings to the table is an abundance of creativity. The animators must have had a ton of fun storyboarding the weird and wonderful ways one moment merges into the other with this scene, and the colour palette is beautifully illumines. It’s exactly what’s needed after such a sad moment between Dumbo and his mother.

There are two small problems that i have with the movie. One is that despite the pink elephant sequence, the animation does feel rather more basic than the previous films. It does its job alright and is certainly creative, but it doesn’t quite feel as smooth in the same way Pinocchio did. And, I will say I wish I saw more of Dumbo attempting to fly, because it’s something that only a part of the plot in the last third.

With that said, I was pleasantly surprised by Dumbo. I acknowledge it’s far from being their deepest or smartest movie, or even their prettiest. But, for a movie I was expecting just to be overly cute and silly, it did leave a bigger impact on me than I was expecting! It’s far from perfect, but for me, Dumbo soars way higher than what's expected!

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Fantasia

Beautiful to Observe, But Not So Much to Watch

(Edit) 07/03/2017

In all respect to this movie, I give the people behind this credit for trying something so wildly different than what anyone else has done. This movie was, essentially, what gave birth to what we nowadays call music videos, after all. And needless to say, the animation for each one of these world-famous works of classical music is top notch, matching flawlessly with the music that the orchestra is playing.

But I'm not gonna lie, there were a lot, and I mean A LOT of times where I was just begging to press the fast-forward button watching this one. It's strange that I'd be complaining about how much this movie drags, because I'm usually don't mind more sluggish films like Good Night and Good Luck, or Mr. Turner, or The Hours as just a handful of examples. But there's something these movies have which this movie lacked... lead characters! The only shorts in this movie with a distinct lead character is The Sorcerers Apprentice, which is why I think it's the most famed of the shorts, and arguably Night on Bald Mountain. But the rest of the shorts don't choose one character to stay focused on, but instead kind of jump between them all as extremely random events happen around them, without them ever really being developed or given any purpose.

I also found that I wasn't really learning that much from this movie. I learnt that there are certain kinds of music that do or don't tell a story, hence the lack of lead characters in these shorts. But otherwise, all the narrator does is spoil what little happens in each short before it happens. So, there's not even an element of surprise to look forward to.

Many regard this as one of the greatest animated films ever made. And whilst I admire what this film has inspired, I'm afraid the magic just didn't click with me for this film. I know a lot of critics love it, but personally, I'd rather skip to the next track.

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Needs More Dwarf

(Edit) 07/03/2017

Okay, I'll start my review with the bit I didn't enjoy. The first third of this movie was just boring... really, really boring! The characters don't get a real proper introduction in this film, the just kind of show up and go straight into their respective roles. There are some nice bits like how the woods seem to be alive as Snow White runs away, but mostly it's just snappiness and lacklustre horror.

That is until the dwarfs make their sudden appearance in the film. These guys are what make the movie as timeless as it is; they're all lovable, instantly memorable, animated brilliantly, designed well, and full of the personality the rest of the characters lack. Grumpy seemed especially intriguing as he starts off living to his name, but as time goes on allows his softer side to seep through. It's actually rather charming.

Snow White also gets to be more interesting as time goes on too. Granted, she is definitely weak and anything but courageous. But, I'll give her the credit that she's a genuinely lovely mother-figure. Being a parent / housekeeper is not an easy job, but she does really well at it. When the animals are taking shortcuts doing the housework, she tells them to do it the proper way. When it's supper time, she tells the dwarfs they won't eat until they've washed their hands. There's nothing really bad about her, she's just not much of a heroine.

On the whole, the movie is worth watching for any Disney fan. Even if it's not the most timeless of films, it is what set the standard for the classic Disney flick. And I look forward to seeing more of these classics over the next few months

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Pinocchio

About as Timeless as a Movie Will Ever Be

(Edit) 07/03/2017

I think the thing I enjoy most about Pinocchio is the lessons it teaches. Not only are metaphors like your nose growing when you lie, or becoming a donkey if you're naughty, still used with great effect today, but Pinocchio genuinely has to learn through these metaphors. He's by no means an unlikable character at the beginning, but he has real flaws, and has to become a better person through time in order to become a real boy. He even goes as far as risking his life to save Geppetto. That instantly makes him far more fascinating than Snow White!

The animation is a big improvement too! In Snow White, I felt as if they tried to make the human characters look a little too lifelike, and they kinda jarred with the more obviously animated ones like the dwarfs. But in Pinocchio, they all look like they're on par with each other. They're real enough to look human but toony enough to fit with the painted backgrounds and anthropomorphic animals. Despite being over 70 years well, it's aesthetic has aged surprisingly well.

If I did have to complain, I would say there's rather too much filler in this one. I dunno, there seem to be a lot of scenes where nothing much really happens or if it does, it doesn't really progress the story in any way. I remember one scene in particular where Pinocchio, the fox and the cat are singing Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee as they walk through the streets and I was thinking to myself "why are we stuck watching this? Shouldn't we move to the next scene by now?"

When it comes to the Classic Disney films, I often see this movie in the top 5 somewhere. And honestly, it's not hard to see why. It's probably about the most timeless of classics from the Disney vault, and all their future films would have a lot to live up to after this one :-)

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Pi

Frighteningly Genius

(Edit) 23/02/2017

Darren Aronofsky's debut feature is an exhilarating, electrifying, and eye-opening experience from start to finish.

Max Cohen is a truly fascinating character, not just because of his remarkable intelligence, but because we dive into his POV and experience how his obsession over finding the pattern in the stock market drives him to insanity. Plus, he's exactly the kind of character that should be at the centre of these themes, since he isn't the only one who loses his mind here. Practically his whole world has gone mad over finding the ultimate answer through his genius, and I think it reflects how our society has become obsessed with finding the ultimate truth.

Shot in black and white on a shoestring budget, and packed with some wild editing choices, the movie also has this beautiful grittiness to it that really reflects Cohen's mindset. And the music is something else too, and is bound to get your the heart pumping as we race from scene to scene, and from calmness to paranoia.

Is this movie going to be to everybody's cup of tea? No! Aronofsky's work is something of an acquired taste. But personally, I thought this was an astonishingly great film, especially for a first-timer! If you like some of his other work (Requiem for a Dream (2000), Black Swan (2010), you'll most likely enjoy this one too!

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