REVIEW – Beauty and the Beast

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As the Disney juggernaut rolls on, the studio has released a live action adaptation of one of their most beloved animated films, Beauty and the Beast. And now, Another Bloody Critic invites you to be our guest and delve into the merits of this new retelling of a tale as old as time.

Disney have had mixed success with these live-action remakes of their classic catalogue, ranging from the outstanding success of last year’s The Jungle Book to the CGI mess that is the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland films. Beauty falls right in the middle of those two. Like Cinderella before it, this is a charming movie that takes almost no risks whatsoever.

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THE TOP 10 FILMS OF 2016 (According To Me).

Well folks, we reached the end of 2016. And well…. it sucked. In many, many ways, 2016 was not a great year. The number of amazing films, particularly in the blockbuster department, was lacking compared to recent years. The number of great film and entertainment personalities to pass away was horrifying. And in the real world, outside of movies, well – let’s just say that I’m very much hoping for an improvement in 2017. Never know your luck.

That said, not here today to moan about the sorry state of this calendar year. We’re here to celebrate! Because even in a weak year, there’s always far more than 10 movies that were absolutely fantastic, so any movie that makes it into my Top 10 list is deserving of all the praise it can get. And I have 10 fantastic movies to show off for you today.

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REVIEW – Queen of Katwe

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Walt Disney Pictures, as a studio, seem to like to release movies as part of a range. Whether it’s their Animated Studios range, their Nature Documentaries, the live action remakes of their old animated hits or something they bought (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, The Muppets, whatever), everything fits into a nice little box. But one range that I often forget even exists is the Disney sports movies.

You’ve almost certainly seen these some of these movies – Cool Runnings, Remember the Titans, The Mighty Ducks, Million Dollar Arm – if you’ve not seen any of those, then you really hate sports. But, even if you do hate sports, Queen of Katwe might be your speed. Sure, it follows the same basic formula of triumphing over the odds that all of these Disney sports films have. But it’s about perhaps the least physical of all the sports – you could even argue that the sport isn’t even a sport. Why? This movie is about a chess champion!

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REVIEW – Moana

In a dramatic departure for this page, this review is actually being published prior to everyone already seeing the movie. Thanks to Event Cinemas, I was able to catch an advance screening of Moana, but this film does not hit Australian theatres until Boxing Day.

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It’s been a very interesting year for animated movies. Earlier in the year, before I even reviewed movies beyond commenting on Facebook posts and annoying my friends with my thoughts on movies they weren’t even contemplating seeing, I saw Disney’s Zootopia. On the conclusion of that movie, I was convinced that I’d just seen the best animated movie of the year. I was prepared to hand an Oscar to the film immediately. Yet somehow, miraculously, Zootopia is now the clear 3rd best animated movie of the year.

What is less clear is what is the best animated movie of the year. The options are this film, and Kubo and the Two Strings. All I know is that one of those movies will take home the Animated Oscar, and I will be very happy for it, while also being disappointed for the one that doesn’t take it home. Anad that is very high praise indeed.

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REVIEW – Pete’s Dragon

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Welcome to Hollywood, where everything is constantly being remade. Leading the charge is Disney, who have been on a bit of a run remaking all their old classics – Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book et al – and, to be fair, Pete’s Dragon seemed like a great choice for a modern remake.

Because, in an ideal world, films that SHOULD be remade are the ones that don’t hold up or didn’t quite hit in the first place. Not remaking classic hits (like, seriously! Stop trying to remake Scarface!). And Pete’s Dragon is the sort of property that could have been given new life with a new glossy remake. And thus it is very unfortunate that the film is as forgettable and unnecessary as the original movie.

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REVIEW – The BFG

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Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney and Roald Dahl. It sounds like a match made in heaven – three storytelling giants who, at least in vision, live on today. So when they all come together, for Disney’s The BFG directed by Spielberg, we really should be in for a treat. And, you are – if you’re willing to stick through just over an hour of a complete mess to get there. The final act of this film is really, really good.

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