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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Movie Review Marathon: Interstellar, Big Hero 6 and Book of Life

I saw some great movies this week. 

For someone who always looks at the stars, Interstellar was a visual treat. But the story was also an epic and interesting tale. 
Cooper is the ultimate pioneer, and his curiosity and persistence define him. He represents the dreamer, thinker and doer. His dream to be a pilot was replaced with the necessity of farming as Earth reaches its final days, but fate has something else in store for him. As the clues add up, and time passes, the lives of people on Earth hang in the balance. The story had many twists and turns, and the idea of the way time and space works is a core idea in the movie's plot. But what is the ultimate force? What can withstand all space and time? To find a solution, Cooper leaves his daughter Murph and his son Tom, and goes on a journey with the last explorers on Earth. As he learns to work with and help people who have lost all hope, Cooper must make the ultimate decision and learn about the most powerful force in the universe. 
This movie was amazing! From the scenes in space to the family dynamics that drive the ultimate conflict of the film. 
While Cooper leaves his family behind, trying to find a solution to save their lives, they struggle with feelings of resentment and abandonment. But as time passes, and the world continues to be a dangerous watseland, Murph steps up and decides to do her best to solve the problem that the world is facing. Our tiny planet that exists in the vast and mysterious universe. 
I'd give this film 4 out of 5 stars. 
Whenever time travel and black holes are involved in stories, things get tricky and uncontrollable. The story itself can become a little strange and it plays with the idea of a linear story, but this film did a good job balancing Cooper's tale with his daughter's, and it dove into what makes us human. The philosophy and psychology of the complex pioneers really make this movie four dimensional. 

Every kid wants to be a superhero with something to fight for, or to follow their dreams, Hiro, a bored and incredibly smart 14 year old, just cruised through his life and looked up to his brother, Tadashi. Tadashi, determined to help his brother use his brain to the best of his ability, invites Hiro to see the school where Tadashi is working to create an amazing invention and change the world for the better. Hiro finally gains motivation and starts to work on a powerful and incredible project. But once Hiro loses something very dear to him, he must carry on and find purpose and solace from friends and family. He finds a new friend in Baymax, a robotic nurse created by Tadashi, who becomes his counselor and guide through a difficult time. Hiro creates an adventure of his own through the invention of superhero suits for Baymax and his friends, giving them super (scientific) powers. As Baymax and Hiro go up against a super villian, (a man in a Kabuki mask) using Hiro's invention (the microbots) Hiro must learn how to cope with what life has given him, and make a difference of his own. 
This movie was charming, and it spoke to me about important times in life. 
When going through a difficult time, it can often seem hopeless, but with support and care, you can create your own purpose through the pain. 
I give this film 4 out of 5 hairy babies (cats). 

El Dia de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead is a special day in Mexico where people reflect on and remember loved ones who have passed away. It's a time to think about fond memories, and celebrate life as much as honor the people who have passed. 
The two deities La Muerte and Xibalba watch over mortals, and rule two sections of the underworld where mortals pass on. 
La Muerte rules the Land of the Remembered which houses those honored and respected by the next generation. She believes in humans, and admires their pure hearts and kind souls. 
Xibalba rules the Land of the Forgotten, which houses miserable souls, unremembered and lost to the wind of time. He doesn't believe that humans can succeed on their own, and that each  human is only out for themselves. 
The Book of Life begins as a story about three mortals. Manolo, a bullfighter with the heart of a musician, Joaquin, a prideful man who becomes a celebrity, and Maria, a bright and strong woman with a heart of gold. 
La Muerte and Xibalba make a wager, upon seeing Manolo, Maria and Joaquin playing as children, on which boy will win Maria's heart, as an opportunity for Xibalba to change his ways and for La Muerte to restore his faith in the human race. La Muerte chooses Manolo to be her champion, and she tells him to be brave and true. Xibalba picks Joaquin to be his champion, and he gives Joaquin the metal of enternal life to impress all with strength and power. 
Their wager may be a game for them, but it impacts the lives of Maria, Manolo and Joaquin as the town is threatened by Chakal, an evil menace looking for the metal of eternal life, and as the story plays out, things do not go as the deities had planned. 
I enjoyed this film, from the beautiful visuals and rich culture to the complex characters and great story. As Maria, Manolo and Joaquin make choices that determine the future of their town, they learn what it means to be heroes, and how powerful it is to be yourself. 
Five out of five roses.