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Friday, November 25, 2016

Moana: A Movie Review

Moana is a beautiful tribute to the Polynesian culture and an epic coming of age tale. 

Since she was born, Moana of Motunui has been drawn to the ocean, but as the chief's daughter she has a role to play. When the island begins to decay, Moana is given a new role, the savior of her people. She must find the demigod Maui and convince him to right a terrible wrong. But Maui is not just any demigod. He is a cunning trickster, who wants nothing more than human praise. 
This task turns into an important journey, with many lessons along the way. 

As Moana tests her limits, learns things that she can do, and listens to her own intuition, she discovers one of the most important things in life, and one of the most difficult. There is power in knowing who you truly are. 

This entire movie was beautiful, from the animation to the music. The eloquent sounds of Te Vaka, and the clever lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda add an extra dimension to the tale.  With interesting characters, and a clean-cut storyline, this film is one of the best Disney movies in a long time. The mythology is amazing, and the history compelling. 

I recommend this film to people of all walks of life. It is a voyage of self discovery. 
Five out of five conch shells. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Doctor Strange: A Movie Review

Doctor Strange was a magnificent film with incredible special effects and a powerful philosophical story line. 
When Doctor Steven Strange loses the ability to use his hands, his beloved career as a neurosurgeon and his sense of purpose and productivity go with it. Despite the care of Christine, his trusted friend and confidant, Strange feels broken and lost. 
After seven surgeries and physical therapy sessions, Strange becomes angry at the world, and he goes on a quest for answers. He travels to Nepal in search of a place called Kamar-taj, rumored to be a healing sanctuary of spiritual enlightenment. 

He meets a person called The Ancient One, and his perspective is changed by the possibilities of the universe. As Strange learns about the rules of magic, he makes a choice about who he wants to be, and he learns that you can't control anything, except your own perspective. 

Steven Strange was a great character, and watching him grow from an arrogant man into a noble hero is the heart of the film. Benedict Cumberbatch did a wonderful job representing a broken man on his way to healing and purpose. His strength and weakness is his curiosity, and his desire to learn all he can about the world around him. 
Matters of the heart are more complicated, but he relies on his trusted friend Christine to be there for him in his time of need. 

Every character in this film is interesting. The Ancient One was more complex than she appeared, and the audience is left to decide what is wrong and what is right. 
Under the plot of the film, a powerful message about the benefits of failure and the strengths of losing the ego is delivered. One of the most important lessons in life: that it goes on, even when you believe it is the end of the world, and that only you can decide your own limits. 

In terms of the rumors going around about the ethnicities cast in the film, each minority had representation in a well written character. The order of Kamar-taj was universal, with alliances all around the world. Many ethnicities were given representation, and the roles of women in the film were focused on their personalities, and not their sexuality. 

All in all the film was amazing, and I will give it five out of five cups of tea. I can't wait for the next adventure!