Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A happy surprise and a big disappointment - movie reviews coming up for The Croods and War Horse

I love it when I am happily surprised with a movie I was not expecting too much out of,
but hate when I am disappointed in one I waited a while to see, especially a Spielberg movie.

The Croods

This past weekend we actually took a Saturday night and sat down and watched a family movie together.
Our copy of Frozen hadn't arrived yet so we turned to Amazon Instant Video and rented one we all thought we would like to watch.
We (read I) chose The Croods. A Dreamworks Animation movie starring Nicholas Cage as the lead, well, cave-man. It describes itself as an Animated Comedy Adventure, and I think that is a pretty good description.
I had expected to be entertained but not much else. I was really surprised how fun the movie was.
The animation was excellent. The voice acting well done. And the one-liners were very, very funny.
We enjoyed it so much we had daughters grandma come over the next night while we still had the rental and watched it again. I ordered it to add to our collection. I know we will watch it again.

War Horse

War Horse is (was) one of those movies I had only heard good things about so waited till I had an un-interrupted night to watch it. A night when I could watch it on our big TV with the volume such that I could catch every thing, even with my bad ear.
I was expecting a real emotional story, with a great cast and a gritty environment.
Unfortunately right from the beginning I kept hoping it would get better.
The lead actor (not the horse) wasn't strong enough to carry the movie, even with some strong support from other cast members. Although the movie did have some top-notch actors in it, they were never allowed to be anything other than mediocre.
Right from the beginning the story proved very predictable and plodding.
And even thought the sets appeared to be very well down nothing seemed gritty enough. It felt very movie made up.
Although everyone was dirty, it didn't feel like the dirt would stick.
The battle scenes came no where near the intensity of Saving Private Ryan. They probably weren't meant to because it was geared to a different audience. But that being the case, they didn't carry the weight they need to. It stayed to far away from real, and again, never felt like anyone was really getting 'dirty'.
Lassie from a few nears ago carried more punch.
The sets appeared to be very well done, but then seemed over intense for something in the real world.
They seemed lighted and made up, well,  for a movie.
I expected better things.

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