Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #60: Encanto

Seagoon:
Any objections?

Milligan:
Ohhh yes! If we build this mountain on England, England would sink under the weight.

Seagoon:
Sink? In that case, this mountain would be invaluable, people could climb up the side and save themselves from drowning!

Milligan:
Mercy, you’re right. Hurry and build it, before we all drown!

The Goon Show: “The Greatest Mountain in the World” (1954)

“Mouse, you explain that opening quote RIGHT NOW!”
“What, I can’t reference classic British radio comedy to open my review?”
“Listen to me. Encanto is the one good thing to come out of this miserable fucking decade and if you try to ruin it for me…”
“Ooookay, how about we take a deep breath?”

Alright, let’s just dispense with the usual dancing around.

Encanto is great. It’s a great piece of animation. It’s an excellent musical and it’s without a doubt my favourite canon movie in a long-ass time. It’s walking out of here with a good grade, don’t nobody worry ’bout that.

But…

I have to confess that what really fascinates me about Encanto is how it keeps making the most basic, obvious mistakes in screen-writing you can imagine (trying to build a mountain that will cause the country to sink), and instead of just fixing them in a sensible way (just not building the mountain) by doubling down and solving those problems in the most ridiculously over the top way possible (actually building the mountain). And it works.

The best example of this is the first song Welcome to the Family Madrigal.

There are twelve named speaking Madrigal characters, all with unique personalities, powers and familial relationships to keep track of. That is, quite frankly, bananas and any sensible screenwriter would have gone through the cast with a machete looking for who could be cut.

Way I see it, for this story you need Mirabelle, two older siblings to establish the pattern that Mirabelle broke by not getting a gift, and then a younger sibling to get a gift to show that Mirabelle really was a fluke. You need Abuela, obviously, Bruno and Julietta. Augustine doesn’t need to be there and Pepa’s entire family is extraneous. And yes, obviously, that would really suck to lose those characters but that would be the sensible choice. The sane choice. But that would not be the Encanto choice.

Encanto instead decides that it’s going to have an opening song flat out admitting “yes, our cast is far too big and complicated and our premise is weird and clunky so here is a song to help you remember”. It shouldn’t work. It really shouldn’t work. But simply by dint that it is a phenomenal song it does. They built the goddamn mountain.

But I get ahead of myself. So about that premise.

Okay, so there was this lady named Alma, her husband Pedro and their baby triplets and they were fleeing through the jungle to escape the carnage of the Thousand Days War, a conflict that devastated Colombia at the turn of the 20th century and killed 2.5% of the population and that I first learned about through a Disney cartoon so I guess I’m an ignorant asshole, okay, good to know.

Pedro was killed and in her grief Alma prayed for a miracle which made her candle become magic. The magic candle then closed off the valley from the rest of the world and created a house, which was also magic. And now, every time a member of Alma’s family comes of age they get a magic door in the magic house created by the magic candle which was created by the miracle. When they touch the magic door, they get a magic power and a magic room that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

I’m actually a little angry about how needlessly complicated this premise is. This movie had six credited writers but apparently no one in charge who could just say “no, this is too much. You don’t need all this.” Hey, Lin Manuel Miranda? Let me fix that for you:

Alma was wandering heartbroken in the jungle and she found a magic house.

No! No more things!

“Oh. Sorry. I got…carried away.”

Jesus man.

Also, some of you are going to hate me for this but nix the whole “the house is alive and is also a character” business. Why? Because it’s been done to death. Casita is just Magic Carpet from Aladdin, Ocean from Moana and Gale from Frozen 2. It’s the same character just a house now. Enough.

Okay, so the movie proper begins with the family preparing for 5 year old Antonio Madrigal to receive his gift. This is a difficult time for Mirabel, the youngest daughter of Alma’s daughter Julietta, because the last ceremony was hers and she got bupkiss. After being harrangued by some exposition starved local waifs, Mirabel launches into Welcome to the Family Madrigal, a song which, by all the laws of God, man and screenwriting should not work but does.*

For a song that is basically the musical equivalent of that scene in Meet the Robinsons where Wilbur Robinson gives a power point presentation on the insanely over bloated cast, this is an astonishingly good song, probably the best post-Hamilton thing Miranda has ever written. In a whirlwind of meticulously intricate rhymes and an infectious beat, Mirabel tells the children about her entire family, their powers, their relationships and the fact that her Uncle was almost certainly murdered and the family is covering it up.

“They say he saw the future, one day he disappeared…”
“Whoah, Abuela she won’t let us call the cops, but OH! you kids should DEFINITELY CALL THE COPS (oh shit, she’s seen us just smile children, just smile and be chill).”

Good a time as any to talk about the animation. Disney established its current house style in 2010 with Tangled and in my opinion they are way, waaay overdue a shakeup. But, if they are going to continue to make movies in this style, may they all look as good as Encanto.

I love the skin, hair and faces of these women.

Sorry. Let me rephrase that in a way that sounds less serial-killery.

The way the skin and hair of these characters is rendered is absolutely phenomenal, probably the best of any CGI Disney movie. But the real triumph is how much emotional clarity and humour the characters can express solely through their faces. And, to be clear, this movie absolutely needs that. In his review, Tim Brayton described the movie’s central plot as “a girl talks to each member of her large family, one at a time” and, well, yeah. It’s a movie that’s banking on you caring enough about the relationships of its characters that you won’t mind that there is really very little story. Fortunately, in my opinion at least, that bet pays off because the character designs are so appealing and expressive that for the most part you do care.

So we’ve established that Mirabel doesn’t have a gift and she compensates by being incredibly can-do and positive. Not helping things is Abuela, who used to be really close to Mirabel but, ever since her failed gifting, has kind of treated her like a problem to be managed. Antonio’s ceremony goes off without a hitch and he gets the power to talk to animals. And the knowledge that she really was just a fluke finally breaks through Mirabel’s happy veneer and she shows how much this is killing her. This brings us to our second song, Waiting on a Miracle, an excellent “I want” song where she reveals how much it sucks when your family is the Justice League and you’re Snapper Carr.

Where’s his movie Warners? Do it, you cowards.

After the song, Mirabel sees a crack spreading through the walls of the house and the candle starts to sputter. She runs back and crashes Antonio’s party and warns everyone that the house is breaking apart but when they go and look everything’s fine. Abuela tells everyone to ignore the Crazy Girl who’s talking all crazy and even Julietta warns Mirabel not to go down the path of her brother Bruno, which really sounds like a threat.

Later that night, however, Mirabel overhears Abuela praying and learns that the house’s magic is fading. So Mirabel decides to Nancy Drew this shit. Like any good detective mystery, the first port of call is to consult the local snitch.

Mirabel’s cousin Dolores has super acute hearing which allows her to hear everything going on in the house. She tells Mirabel that on the night of the ceremony she overheard Mirabel’s older sister Luisa’s eye twitching all night long. Now with her first lead, Mirabel confronts Luisa who sings Surface Pressure, another excellent song about how the constant pressure of being the family’s donkey lifter is starting to stress her out. Awesome song, although I will never forgive it for one massive missed oppurtunity.

Did no one making this realise Disney already had a Hercules?

Anyway, Mirabel and Luisa share a hug and Luisa tells Mirabel that at the exact time the cracks appeared, Luisa felt weak. She also tells Mirabel that Bruno apparently had a vision of the magic failing right before he disappeared, and suggests Mirabel searches his tower.

Each of the Magical Madrigals have their own pocket universe in their room, but since he left, Bruno’s has started to collapse and decay. In the ruins, Mirabel finds glowing green shards that are the remains of Bruno’s vision and gathers them up before the whole place collapses in.

While the family prepares for Isabella’s engagement dinner to local himbo Mariano, Mirabel asks around about this Bruno character. This, of course, leads to We Don’t Talk About Bruno, the song that conquered harder than Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan combined. I really don’t have anything to say about the song that you don’t already know. It’s an ear-wormy masterpiece and that’s that. What I will say is that this is another “building the mountain” moment for the film. The movie deals with the fact that a lot of its cast is technically extraneous by making them so appealing and instantly iconic that even with the limited screen time most of them have, they’re indelibly memorable. Take Felix, for instance:

More or less completely irrelevant to the plot. Hardly any screentime. But damn, you’d miss him, wouldn’t you? Because every time he’s on screen he just lights it up and you actually learn a lot from him and his relationships with the other family members through little tiny details. Abuela is the most emotionally guarded, reserved, almost austere character in the whole movie. So when you see her dancing with Felix…

That tells you a lot about both characters. So yeah, I probably would have advised them not to build the mountain. But now that they did. Damn. That is a fine mountain.

Anyway, Mirabel finally reassembles Bruno’s vision and learns what the terrible threat to the family’s happiness is…

Oof.

The engagement dinner is a complete disaster as Dolores overhears Mirabel telling her father about the vision and then it just spreads like a virus. The house starts cracking and Pepa loses control of her weather making powers and the whole thing’s a washout. Mirabel sees some rats running off with the pieces of the vision and she follows them through a secret passage where she meets…BRUNO.

So it turns out Bruno did not run away, and has been living secretly in the house this whole time. Bruno tells Mirabel that the night she didn’t get her gift Abuela asked him to look into the future and he saw Mirabel destroying their home (or possibly saving it). To protect Mirabel, he smashed the vision and then left the house which, y’know, he didn’t really have to do. But still, nice gesture.

But Mirabel reasons that visions are like parents. If you don’t like the answer you get the first time, ask another one and maybe you’ll get to go on that sleepover. Reluctantly, Bruno tries again and sees the same vision of Mirabel destroying the Encanto but with a new sequence, Mirabel embracing Isabella and strengthening the candle.

So it’s either hug Isabela or let her family’s home be destroyed which obviously is a tough call.

Mirabel goes to Isabela’s room and tries to apologies but instead makes her so angry she manifests a cactus (not a euphemism, but should be). Isabela has a joyous realisation that she doesn’t just have to make pretty perfect flowers and can grow cool plants that fuck. She realises this through a song that Disney insists is called What Else Can I Do? but is actually called Let it Grow and no one can convince me different.

Mirabel and Isabela embrace and the candle burns more brightly but Abuela shows up and accuses Mirabel of sabotaging the family because she resents not having a gift. Furious, Mirabel tells Abuela that the reason their home is falling apart at the seams is because Abuela has placed such unreasonable expectations on all of them.

And then the house collapses.

Homeless and powerless, the family search for Mirabel. Abuela finally finds her on the banks of the river where she got the miracle that gave her a magic candle that built her a magic house. Abuela tells her how she came to the Encanto and how her grandfather died through the song Dos Oruguitas and she tells her that Mirabel was right. They reconcile and they are then found by Bruno riding a creepily photorealistic horse.

These two things came from different universes and it ain’t right.

Abuela embraces Bruno and they ride back to the rest of the family.

We get our final song, All of You, where the family rebuild their home with the help of all the townspeople the family helped over the years. Oh, and Isabela gets out of her engagement to Mariano, who’s devastated, but fortunately Dolores is there to snatch up those sloppy seconds.

To thank Mirabel, the family give her the knob to place in the front door which restores the Encanto to life and gives everyone back their gifts. And the movie ends with the family reunited and Mirabel finally at peace with her place in the family.

***

Encanto is just a tad too flawed for me to call it an unqualified return to greatness, and that we should just pretend that the last few movies didn’t happen. But, it definitely is cause for hope. And even the weird shagginess of its premise and its refusal to streamline its large cast speaks to something that has been sorely missing from Disney movies of this era: Passion. I suspect Raya had a huge cast because they wanted to sell Happy Meal toys. I think that Encanto has a huge cast because they loved these characters too much to leave them on the cutting room floor. And you know what? Sometimes it takes integrity to not kill your darlings. Ultimately, we get a messy but beautiful film with some phenomenal songs and an important message. Welcome back, guys.

Here’s to the next 10 years.

“Don’t we own you yet?”

Scoring

Animation: 19/20

Tempted to go a full twenty, but using computers is cheating.

Lead: 20/20

How would you improve Mirabel as a character? I honestly don’t know how you could.

Villain: N/A

“Oooooh we’re a Disney movie in the 2020s. We’re too GOOD for villains now.”

Supporting Characters: 19/20

So much love and care went into crafting these characters.

Music: 20/20

Anything less would be more insufferably contrarian than even I could stomach.

Which means…oh no.

“What have I done?”
Why, what ever’s the matter Mouse?
“No. That voice, it can’t be!”
Hello again, my little furry friend.
“Holy shit! Lore! Actual lore!”
“The wyvern guy!”
Do you understand the brilliance of my revenge? I crafted the perfect movie to break your ranking system. Near flawless animation, lead, supporting characters and music. AND A TERRIBLE SCRIPT.

“NO! YOU CAN’T MEAN!”
Yeeessss.. This is now your Number 1 Disney movie! I’VE RUINED YOUR RANKINGS FOREVER!!!

ARBITRARY DEDUCTION OF POINTS FOR CLUNKY SCREENPLAY: -15%

WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!
“It’s my blog. I can just…decide the score.”
I spent three years on this plan. I…went to Julliard to learn how to write musicals. I…worked SO HARD…
“Great to see you again, buddy.”

FINAL SCORE: 82%

NEXT UPDATE: 01 September 2022

NEXT TIME:

* Okay everyone, I need your help. What the FUCK does the first kid shout at Mirabel through the window? I hear it as “Hey! When’s Matt’s gift happen?” which makes no sense. The captions on the YouTube video say “Hey! where’s my gift at?” which is clearly not what he’s saying AND makes no sense and the Disney Plus subtitles say “Hey! When’s the magic gift happen?” which makes sense but is CLEARLY not what what he actually says.

37 comments

  1. I noticed that oddity with the kid yelling at the start of the movie too. I genuinely believe the audio mixing on his line is botched because it sounds oddly spliced and robotised. I think he IS saying “when’s the magic gift happen,” except encased in three layers of mangled editing. Surprised they let it pass in the final cut.

  2. Great review, Mouse. Surprised you didn’t take the opportunity to rescind your comment on Raya, about how we don’t get those ‘cultural moments’ with Disney films anymore, given how Encanto has basically dominated the entertainment landscape for the first half of 2022. I suppose the conclusion we can draw is that it IS possible. Raya just sucked. Hard.

  3. So you think that twelve family members is too much?
    They are fifteen in my fanfic (because Bruno has a wife and two kids here).
    However, Felix and Agustín and Antonio get no lines in my story.
    So that is proof of unimportant they are to the plot, I guess.

    Anyway, I can’t agree that “Encanto” has a bad script.
    It is too good for that.
    And yeah, I think I mentioned last time how much I love Bruno.
    But in case you forgot… You can’t believe how much I love him!

  4. I actually always thought that a score for ‘screenplay’ in your final ranking would have been a good addition.

    I liked Encanto, it actually felt like The Jungle Book or Sword in the Stone to me, just some interesting and fun characters giving us some catchy beats with a very bare-bones plot. I kind of missed that style of Disney movie, it feels like their other recent films have gone for ‘epic’ but been boring instead.

    1. I considered it waaaay back when I started the blog but it just felt redundant. How do you rate the story structure of Cinderella or Snow White? As we’ve gotten to the modern era the plots have definitely become more conventionally Hollywood but it’s still not something that (I feel) really makes or breaks whether a Disney movie works or not, except in cases like this where I just couldn’t ignore it.

  5. Yes, glad to see you return to your Disney Canon roots and kudos for standing up to the Horned King! Show him who’s boss!

    Love this review and I agree with you that this is the best Canon film in a long time. I would say since Moana personally.

    “There are twelve named speaking Madrigal characters, all with unique personalities, powers and familial relationships to keep track of. That is, quite frankly, bananas and any sensible screenwriter would have gone through the cast with a machete looking for who could be cut.” – THIS! I’ve been saying this forever much to the chagrin of my younger cousins!

    “But Mirabel reasons that visions are like parents. If you don’t like the answer you get the first time, ask another one and maybe you’ll get to go on that sleepover.” – Laughed hard at this!

  6. Great review! This is one I have been looking forward to for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint. I actually didn’t like the movie all that much on first watch. It should be a crime that the Spanish dub and especially Spanish songs are much worse than the English version. But yeah on rewatch I decided this was a beautiful movie. Dos Oruguitas even made me cry. As someone from Latin America, this tale of losing those we love and being victims of violence resulting in exile and trauma just hits so hard. I’m one of the lucky ones, but it’s still just something that’s very central to us. And that’s why I think making the miracle the result of Alma’s grief, something her lost invoked instead of something that just was there, was the right choice. It’s messy but also feels truer to the Latin American experience, of losing and desperately wishing we had a way to defend ourselves in the future. Alma got that, explaining then her determination to protect the miracle.

  7. While your original remark is probably a joke, it strikes me that a Snapper Carr movie could fill a major gap in the Super-movie landscape, especially if we characterise him as more ‘Superhero roadie’ than ‘groupie’ – in a sort of ‘behind the music’ docudrama showing how much WORK it takes to help a superhero team hit the ground running (Work that superheroes themselves are kept far, far too busy to handle).

    Bonus points if Mr Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord shows up as a much-reformed business manager!

    1. The original Young Justice comic had him serve as a mentor character to the young heroes for a time, which actually worked because it was a team made up of sidekicks, and he was a sidekick who “graduated”.

  8. I personally wasn’t too big on this movie. I didn’t dislike it, it just didn’t resonate with me as much as it did others. Maybe a second viewing will change that. Also, I hate to nitpick, but shouldn’t the score be 83%?

  9. Encanto’s a movie where I really didn’t like it very much but I’d have a hard time articulating why. Think there’s a lot to like about it but I just kind of found it a chore to sit through.

  10. I think it’s “When’s the next gift happen?!”, but I can’t be sure.

    I love this movie, but I almost feel like it’s the first Disney animated musical that might be BETTER on Broadway. Few locations, the biggest action scene is just the set falling in on the cast (a special effects you can achieve accidentally if you aren’t careful), and a ton of focus on using the songs to deliver the story.

    So be of good cheer, Horned King, you can be the next Andrew Lloyd Webber if you just become a tiny bit more evil.

      1. You’re making me watch it again… I got “Hey! When’s the magic gift happen?” also.
        (They really never used Snapper Carr? I’d have thought maybe in one of the shows, like Legends of Tomorrow, or Peacemaker.)

  11. I have noticed you seem to dislike large casts while I love them, so that’s a big difference any time I disagree with your takes. Something like Moana is deadly dull to me since the world is so empty with people and uses tropes from other movies too much (like you pointed out in your review too). It doesn’t do exactly anything wrong so if it’s your first Disney movie I would get it would be more interesting than it’s to me who’s seen nearly all. I just don’t really care for screenwriting advice like Save the Cat types of things and I rather let the movies breathe and be more character focused than make sure everything is as economical as possible. Like you said, we would miss Felix if he wasn’t there, even though he could be cut. That’s why so many Disney princesses lack mothers, it’s not Disney hates them. They just aren’t often crucial to the plot (or in source material) and it’s easy to cut them and deaths can even add to drama (if you don’t think of all Disney movies together and start to wonder where the moms are). But it’s not like Mulan would be a better film if the mother was dead because she didn’t need to be there. And here in Encanto that’s it’s a large family she feels lost in is so important thematically.

    But glad you liked it! And you can like what you like anyway 😉

  12. Encanto is one of those weird movies where I have a hard time summoning up any strong emotion for. Maybe because I was late to see it and it was overhyped so my expectations weren’t met. Maybe because 2020’s Disney is too cool for villains and it’s become tiresome. Or maybe because the “token non-special person has to deal with the fact that they’re normal and that’s okay” has become a repetitive plot point.

    Something weird I’ve noticed, ever since the Mother Gothel apologists came out, why has Disney tried to continually sweep over underlying toxic, family dynamics or relationships? I mean, this family has twice ostracized two family members for a number of years and apparently that be all fixed by a simple apology and a closing song number.

    Honestly, I think a better way to give the story some stakes is show that the magic is not only finite but also depletes faster because of the their harmful attitudes. Have the climax present a choice, have the family members keep their individual gifts or give them up and restore their magical home. And ultimately they choose a magic that provides a home for all of them instead of a magical gift for some of them.

    1. “I mean, this family has twice ostracized two family members for a number of years and apparently that be all fixed by a simple apology and a closing song number.”

      Firstly, it is not like the whole family ostracized either Bruno or Mirabel.
      Bruno was indeed hated/feared by the villagers, but his family still loved him.
      Yes, it is true that Pepa and Abuela said some hurtful things about Bruno.
      But it’s clear on re-watch that it was because they were hurt by him disappearing.
      And as for Mirabel, most of the family loved her and were at least decent to her.
      Abuela and Isabela were the only ones, who had issues with her.

      And I don’t get what you expected from a Disney movie.
      It is hardly unexpected that the solution will be easier here than in real life.

      1. There’s different kinds of ostracization, the intentional and unintended. Bruno may have been loved by his family, but as “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” shows character assassination can be perpetuated within the family as shown by Pepa actively shifting the narrative away from her own husband to scapegoat Bruno. Dolores and Camilo take part in the same way even though they’re probably to young to remember anything about him as a person (if Camilo even met him at all).

        As for Mirabel, there’s no doubt that her family loves her, but the fact that Alma clearly doesn’t hold her in a high regard and the rest of the family is expected to fall in line with Alma means that Mirabel has to grow up in a tense environment that’s not beneficial for anyone’s development. And having to live in a nursery well into your teenage years just looks bad no matter which way you slice it.

        What I want from Disney is a message that says, “It’s okay for characters to voice that they’re not okay with how they’ve been raised or treated, and the path to reconciliation is a long and tough one.” Yes, it’s a 90 minute animated movie, but if Disney’s willing to deconstruct their own message of love at first sight, I expect them to deconstruct their message of quick and easy forgiveness.

      2. I will confess that “The slander song” is really painful to listen to for me.
        But I guess that what I’m saying is that Bruno wasn’t the only one, who was in pain.
        And it has been confirmed that Mirabel met him before he went into hiding.
        So that means that Camilo must have too.
        But he was too young to know Bruno and thought that slandering him was okay.
        After all, his mother was angry with him and didn’t want to talk about him.

        Mirabel was indeed mistreated by Abuela.
        But there was nothing that anybody could do about the bedroom situation.
        They simply had no other room to offer her.

        I dont really mind the ending because it’s again a family-friendly animated musical.
        However, this is the truth:
        I have to be more cynical in my fanfic and show that things weren’t that perfect…

  13. About the Hercules thing: Apparently, they planned it, but didn’t have the time or budget to make a whole new model for a one second gag. They coulda done it, but it would have required cutting one of the donkeys or something.

    Either way, bit short of a review, I disagree with some of your proposed points, but I do get the idea of Encanto as a movie that breaks every rule of screenwriting, and, yet, somehow…It works. After a few losing rounds, Disney may have finally gotten their groove back.

  14. Mouse, just came home from watching the DC SUPER-PETS movie: If there’s nothing much on TV, if you’re in a DC mood or if you want an excuse to hit the cinema you could do far, far worse (As this is a film that really leans into the sort of old school comic book goofiness that the MCU mostly toys with, it does a remarkable job of turning a bald Guinea pig with a crush on Alex Luthor into a genuinely hefty supervillain – credit to Kate McKinnon & her noteworthy ability to channel a whole Bette Midler – Ace is the BEST boy, Metropolis has seldom looked lovelier and this film’s version of Wonder Woman is just distractingly attractive).

    Also, there’s a rather amusing insinuation that Rocket Raccoon may have been hitting on Green Lantern during some untold crossover.

      1. I’m actually quite touched by your willingness to trust the man who actually likes VAN HELSING and JUSTICE LEAGUE. (-:

        I hope you’ll like SUPER-PETS more than you did the former! (By the way, all the nice things you’ve heard about THE SANDMAN a la Netflix? Absolutely True.

  15. “Okay, so there was this lady named Alma, her husband Pedro and their baby triplets and they were fleeing through the jungle to escape the carnage of the Thousand Days War, a conflict that devastated Colombia at the turn of the 20th century and killed 2.5% of the population and that I first learned about through a Disney cartoon so I guess I’m an ignorant asshole, okay, good to know.”

    Well, we have a lot of people like me learning about the Tulsa Massacre because of the Watchmen TV series. This is nothing new.

  16. I really didn’t like Surface Pressure but otherwise I did think it was a pretty great flick. Didn’t really resonate with me as much as past Disney films have though which I’ve also noticed has been happening with the Marvel movies lately. It’s got me wondering if I’m outgrowing my ability to truly fall in love with these films or if the Disney and Marvel films of the last few years just haven’t been as good quality. The latter is definitely at least part of it (Raya and Thor Love and Thunder both really disappointed) but there’s been some really good ones too that I just haven’t been able to connect with as much as I would have expected.

    1. I can’t speak for RAYA, but a coldness towards LOVE & THUNDER does suggest a cold, dead heart, ‘it’s true. (-;

      (In all honesty I did have some reservations about this film – a little Waititi irreverence goes a long way – but I still love the latest THOR movie: no movie with Russel Crowe’s Zeus chewing the scenery can be wholly bad, there is much, much better than that in this film, and dear Chris Hemsworth remains the most under-appreciated delight in the MCU).

  17. This review helped me appreciate the role of the songs a good deal more. My only hope is that one day Miranda will expand his style beyond hip-hop. I’ve already spoke about how mistake-laden Encanto’s animation is so we can agree to disagree on that.

  18. I watched RUMBLE last night: I’d call it a B- or even a solid B (Since I rather liked it, but thought that it never quite tapped into the full potential of ‘‘Pro Wrestling … WITH KAIJU!’’).

    It strikes me that the plot suffers by playing out in the wrong medium* – for my money this is a hook and a storyline that most naturally belongs in a Beat-Em-Up video game, since that allows you to really get into the curious mix of showmanship, back-room politicking and all out warfare that compounds into the modern pro wrestling circuit (While also letting you get attached to the characters and the town they’re fighting for).

    In all honesty I see enough potential in the ‘High Concept’ to hope that it gets a sequel which aims a little higher (or at least polishes up the execution a little).

    *Actually, assuming one wants to stick with cinema, I’d have suggested a Documentary format (Perhaps a “How it all came crashing down” film following Tentacular from the heights to the depths).

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