Hello, and welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG's "Movie Talk", where I talk about everything film-related. The DC Extended Universe has many interesting stories behind the scenes, but none of them intrigued me more than the "Justice League" scenario. In 2013, visionary director Zack Snyder was brought on board to helm a retelling of Superman's origin story. That came to be known as "Man of Steel". Despite receiving a polarizing response from critics and audiences, the film became a financial hit, resulting in Warner Brothers fast-tracking a DC cinematic universe to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What happened afterward is where things got a little…troublesome. The next two films in the DC Extended Universe, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad", were met with generally negative reviews from critics and fans even though they gained a respectable amount of money at the box office. Although the "Wonder Woman" film managed to become the best-reviewed installment in the franchise, so there's that. But the studio's problems didn't get worse until the release of "Justice League" in November 2017, not just the film in general, but also what happened behind the scenes. During production, Zack Snyder left the project altogether when his daughter committed suicide in March 2017. As a result, Warner Brothers hired Joss Whedon, the man who helmed "Marvel's The Avengers" and was responsible for rewriting the "Justice League" script, to take over as an uncredited director. Whedon's direction happened to be brighter and more humorous than Snyder's darker style for the DC Extended Universe. Sadly, that direction proved to be far more disastrous than the "dark and broody" aspect. When it premiered in November 2017, the film became a critical and financial disappointment, resulting in Warner Brothers losing around $60 million. It was heavily criticized by reviewers and DC fans for its writing, tone, characters, and over-reliance on CGI, officially derailing Snyder's "Justice League" arc for good. This resulted in the studio changing course to focus more on making standalone franchises in the DC universe, like "Aquaman", "Shazam", and the upcoming "Batman" reboot with Robert Pattinson.
After the release of "Justice League", or "Josstice League" as fans like to call it now, an online petition was created to tell the studio to release the "Snyder Cut" of the film. What seemed to be another pointless petition by a so-called "fan" turned out to be a revolution as multiple people showed support for the movement. After years of outcry and a bunch of clues showcasing the existence of Snyder's original cut, the studio finally decided to allow Snyder to finish what he had started, and the rest is history. So the moral of the story is that if you complain long and hard enough, you'll get what you want. It worked for the Sonic design, and it worked for the "Snyder Cut". Fans are weird sometimes. This was something that caught me by surprise after everything that happened with the original cut. Even though I enjoyed watching "Justice League" when it first came out, I can understand why people weren't that impressed with it in the first place. When I first found out that the Snyder cut of "Justice League" is officially moving forward, I became intrigued and excited, mostly the former. I was delighted to hear that Zack Snyder was given a chance to release his own version of the film as an HBO Max original. However, I was also interested in finding out whether it'll make much of a difference or not in terms of quality. It made a difference with the extended version of "Batman v Superman", so the same could be said with "Zack Snyder's Justice League", right? In today's episode of "Movie Talk", I will be finding the answer to that question as I take a look at Snyder's own version of one of the more divisive films in the DC Extended Universe.
Before I begin, allow me to bring you up to speed on what "Justice League" is about in case you haven't seen it. The film featured an all-star cast that consists of Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller. The film's story takes place after the events of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", where Batman (Affleck) attempts to unite the other heroes with special abilities following Superman's (Cavill) death. Those heroes consist of Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Momoa), The Flash (Miller), and Cyborg (Fisher). These heroes must learn to become a team to protect the world from the vicious Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) who, along with his army of Parademons, seek the three Mother Boxes on Earth. The director's cut of "Justice League" obviously has the same plot as the 2017 version, but it also offers a lot more content that Snyder had initially intended to include in his film before he left. It has many additional scenes, new characters, and plenty of world-building elements that tease the upcoming installments in the DC Extended Universe. This resulted in its runtime being a whopping four hours compared to the original's two hours. Not only that, but it also got a rating upgrade because of the additional content. Instead of the kid-friendly PG-13 rating that Joss Whedon's version had, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" got slapped with an R rating due to its amount of violence and language. Prepare to hear Batman drop the F-bomb. Now an R-rated DC Extended Universe film is nothing entirely new as "Birds of Prey" was just released with an R rating last year, and that was the original cut. The extended edition of "Batman v Superman", which Snyder directed, was also released with an R rating. As usual, an R rating doesn't always translate into a good film, let alone an upgrade to a PG-13 rated property. See the "Hellboy" reboot and the 2020 version of "The Grudge" for example. It's the storytelling quality that determines whether or not the film is watchable for its audience. Because of its runtime, the film is divided into six chapters, or parts, for the HBO Max release as well as an epilogue so that viewers can take some small breaks during their viewings. Since I already did a full-on movie review of the original cut of "Justice League", I will be doing something different for the director's cut. I will be looking at the individual parts one by one (with or without spoilers) and then give my overall thoughts on the film based on my thoughts on them. That way, it will be easier for me to talk about it in full detail rather than watch it all the way through and then do a review format on it. I'm okay watching a film that's between two-and-a-half and three hours long in one sitting, but a film that's over that limit? That's not happening. If you haven't watched "Justice League" already, please do so before you read any further, whether it's the 2017 version or Snyder's own version. Anyway, without further ado, let's dive right back into the DC "Snyderverse" and see if it really is the definitive version of "Justice League".
Part 1: Don't Count on It, Batman
Let's kick this experience off with the first 30 minutes of the director's cut. Following the title sequence that represents Superman's death scream being heard from across the globe, part one showcases extended sequences of scenes that were in the original "Justice League" cut, such as Bruce Wayne convincing Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, to join his team, Wonder Woman saving the children from terrorists, and the battle between the Amazonians and Steppenwolf. "Don't Count on It, Batman" immediately sets the stage of what viewers will expect in the remaining chapters in terms of the technical aspects. The aspect ratio was different, the lighting and tone were more muted, it's more violent, and the dialogue has been changed to fit Snyder's style. Heck, even the musical score was changed for the director's cut. Instead of Danny Elfman from the original cut, the score in "Zack Snyder's Justice League" was composed by Tom Holkenborg, also known as Junkie XL. The score reflects more on the emotion in its epic scope than the light-hearted "Avengers"-like tone. It reminded me a bit of the music from "300", especially during the Amazonian sequence, but in a good way. The big highlight of part one, in my opinion, was the Wonder Woman sequence in which she battles the terrorists. In terms of Snyder's direction, the scene successfully showcased how violent and intense the filmmaker intended to represent in his own version. Also, I found it cool to see Wonder Woman kick some butt in R-rated fashion. I would also like to mention Steppenwolf, who got a major makeover from the original version. His armor was more detailed and spikier than his original design, and he's much more ruthless when it comes to his personality. While the CGI for Steppenwolf was still noticeable at times, I like what they did with this version of Steppenwolf so far, thanks to Hinds' menacing performance. Whether or not his role will change will depend on the rest of the parts that follow. Overall, "Don't Count on It, Batman" is a solid beginning to this four-hour-long heroic journey. It instantly showed that this isn't Joss Whedon's "Justice League" or even DC's "The Avengers". This is "Zack Snyder's Justice League", plain and simple.
Part 2: The Age of Heroes
The second part is where the expanded story truly shines. "The Age of Heroes" included a much larger perspective on not just the heroes but also its world-building and the villains. Part 2 has Bruce and Alfred (Jeremy Irons) continuing to search for more heroes. At the same time, Diana discovers the greater danger that's to come thanks to the fire arrow sent by the Amazonians. This segment offered more insight on specific elements such as S.T.A.R. labs, Steppenwolf's backstory, and Bruce's redemption arc after Superman's death. It also introduced some characters that didn't appear in the original cut, including Arthur's mentor Nuidis (played by Willem Dafoe), DeSaad (Peter Guinness), and the big bad God himself Darkseid (portrayed by Ray Porter via motion capture). I want to point out that I was really impressed with the design of Darkseid. He's exactly what I imagined him to be like in live-action form. Menacing and frightening. How much screen time he'll have after this part remains to be seen. I also liked the scene between Arthur and Nuidis, mostly because of how it sets up Arthur's path that's later explored in the solo film. It didn't feel like an unnecessary addition since the film has elements that teased the other DC films that came after it. The flashback sequence showcasing the war between Darkseid and the "Defenders of Earth" was also nicely detailed and shot in terms of the cinematography and script. Some of the CGI was still far from perfect, but it compensates by giving the viewers more understanding of its history. Then there's Steppenwolf himself, who happens to have a much bigger purpose compared to his role in the original version. Instead of him being a by-the-numbers villain, he's now a threatening and determined villain who seeks to end his banishment from Darkseid by collecting the Mother Boxes and enslave humanity. "The Age of Heroes" kickstarted its purpose of showcasing more depth in its story and the characters on the right foot while also teasing the reunification of Earth's mightiest defenders.
Part 3: Beloved Mother, Beloved Son
The third segment provided extended backstories for two characters: Barry Allen, AKA The Flash (Miller), and Victor Stone (Fisher). Barry Allen attempts to obtain a degree in criminal justice to clear his father's name for the murder of his mother. Meanwhile, Victor is dealing with the aftermath of a car accident that killed his mother and left him critically injured, resulting in his father Silas Stone (Joe Morton) replacing his body with cybernetic parts. Not only does it introduce its viewers to Barry's love interest Iris West, played by Kiersey Clemons, but it also showcased more of Cyborg's tragic backstory as well as his complicated relationship with his father and his abilities. Zack Snyder has mentioned that Cyborg is depicted as "the heart of the movie" in his own cut, and after seeing this segment for myself, I can understand why. Cyborg is shown as an outcast who hides himself away from the world because of his new appearance and what his father did to save him from death. Not only was the Cyborg section effective in terms of character depth and direction, but it also showcased more of Fisher's solid acting skills, resulting in it being one of my favorite parts of the film so far. I also liked that the film represented Victor testing his abilities to help the poor mother pay her rent. It shows that people with gifts can make a difference. As for Barry Allen, I still enjoy him in this version just as much as I did with him in the original cut, if not better. Ezra Miller still did an outstanding job with his performance and his deliverance of his humor, especially during the pet store scene. The visuals and slow-motion sequences for Barry's ability were still top-notch as always. You can't deny the fact that Snyder was the perfect choice to showcase Barry's perspective of the world around him when he's going fast. However, Barry's running style still proved to be pretty awkward. The part also contains extended sequences of Steppenwolf obtaining the second Mother Box from the Atlantians and the Parademons kidnaping the scientists from S.T.A.R. labs. Oh, and there's more screen time for Amber Heard's Mera, but I'm sure you don't really care about that. "Beloved Mother, Beloved Son" was given a chance to explore more of The Flash and Cyborg, and it succeeded with ease.
Part 4: Change Machine
The fourth part centers on Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Cyborg rescuing the S.T.A.R scientists from Steppenwolf and the Parademons. Afterward, Cyborg explains about the Mother Boxes' powers, which Silas used to save him, leading up to the idea of bringing Superman back to life. Meanwhile, Steppenwolf discovers the location of the "Anti-Life Equation". The battle between Steppenwolf and the heroes played out the same as the original cut, just with additional and alternative scenes and Tom Holkenborg's score. Other than that, it's an ordinary superhero action scene that's filled with CGI and a boatload of epic-ness. After that, the film offered more details on the Mother Boxes and a surprising reveal of another DC character that I wouldn't spoil if you haven't watched it yet. One of the things I enjoyed from this part was Darkseid's second appearance. We've seen what he looks like back in part two, and now we get to hear what he sounds like. For someone who's unfamiliar with the character, Ray Porter sure did knew how to make him sound more ominous in terms of his impressive vocal performance. Better move over, Thanos, because there's a new tyrannical alien in town, and he's not a very nice guy. The scene involving Lois Lane (Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) was also a respectable addition to the director's cut as it explored their own mourning towards Clark's death. "Change Machine" serves as a decent climax to the film's four-hour narrative filled with action, humor, and character depth.
Part 5: All the King's Horses
Part five sees the heroes breaking into STAR labs to revive Superman. They succeeded, but at the cost of confronting him and losing the final Mother Box to Steppenwolf. Now, this is where things get even more serious. This segment showcased plenty of stuff that happened to one-up the original's take in almost every way, such as the character interactions and the fight against Superman. Don't worry. Superman doesn't ask Batman if he bleeds in this version. Personally, I am glad that they kept in Barry's reaction to Superman seeing him when he's in super-speed mode. The look on Barry's face still gets me every time. It also featured the last couple of moments between Cyborg and Silas. While I would like to see more of this interaction between the two, it's still pretty heartbreaking to see how their relationship ended. Other than that, "All the King's Horses" was able to put Superman together again. Narratively, of course.
Part 6: Something Darker/Epilogue: A Father Twice Over
The sixth and final part concludes the epic journey with the showdown between the Justice League and Steppenwolf. This is another sequence that managed to improve upon the original cut. Not only were the visuals a bit better, but the whole scenario was changed to raise the stakes for the characters, including Cyborg, who plans to separate the Mother Boxes by force. There's no Russian family to save, and the humorous dialogue between Superman and Cyborg was completely removed. They also fixed the sky, so it has a dark bluish color instead of red. It focused more on the exhilarating battle between Steppenwolf and the heroes, which the studio should've allowed Snyder to include in the first place. This was another main highlight for me because of those reasons. Then we have the film's epilogue, which took the pages right out of "The Return of the King" by showcasing multiple conclusions. That can be an annoyance for some people, but other than that, it was a respectable ending that concluded some of the characters' story arcs in the film and offered plenty of teases for what's to come in the sequels, if Snyder and the fans have their way, of course. Overall, "Something Darker" and the epilogue combined themselves to make an ending that truly lived up to the film's epic scale.
In conclusion, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" was quite an experience for all of the right reasons. Was it a flawless masterpiece? No. Was it better than the Joss Whedon cut? Absolutely! The Snyder Cut succeeded in providing something that the 2017 version lacked: a soul. Not just in its storytelling but also in its characters. Its four-hour runtime did seem excessive, especially for those who're planning on watching the whole thing in one sitting, but the pacing and its riveting story helped kept my attention from start to finish. There were also a couple of parts where the CGI looked a bit rough. Despite those flaws, the Snyder Cut is bigger, better, and more heroic in every way thanks to some solid performances from the cast, Snyder's direction, Chris Terrio's screenplay, Tom Holkenborg's score, and its entertaining action sequences. From my personal perspective, I wouldn't consider this as an ordinary director's cut. I would consider this as a gift. A rewarding gift to the fans who showed their support for Snyder's vision of the DC Extended Universe, even though "Man of Steel" and Batman v Superman" were understandably flawed. It's more of a way of saying "thank you" to those who pushed the studio to allow the director to make the "Justice League" movie he wanted to make without interference. Sure, it's not going to impress everyone, but in the end, all that matters is that the fans actually did something good for once. It brought the "Justice" back into the "Justice League". If I were to grade this film, I would gladly give it a B+. This is a superb upgrade to the heavily flawed 2017 version that I will highly recommend to DC fans and general audiences. As for the young fans of DC, I would advise them to watch it with a parent or guardian. Oh, and don't forget to plan out your bathroom breaks before you start. You're going to need them. If you're reading this, Mr. Snyder, congrats on making your own version of "Justice League" a reality, and I can't wait to check out your next project on Netflix in May.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. In the last episode, I showcased my top ten best films of 2020 just to light up the darkness in this horrific year. Now, it’s time for me to count down the top ten stinkers of the year, just to add insult to injury. Great, it’s bad enough that I had to deal with surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, now I have to talk about the ten films that I wasted my time on. 2020 was a very interesting year for me. For those who are new to my top ten list, I do the best I can to explain why I didn’t like my personal choices on this list in a mature manner because let’s face it, we don’t need any more of this stinking negativity. Just like with my top ten best films of 2020 list, this list is from my own personal opinion. If there’s a film on my list that you actually like, that’s completely fine. Don’t let my opinions change your own views on it because again, everyone has their own perspective on film, especially critics, and they have the right to share them without being judged. With that in mind, allow me to share mine as I count down my worse films of 2020.
Let’s start this list off with the latest comedy from the husband-and-wife duo, director Ben Falcone and comedian Melissa McCarthy. Or was it a romantic comedy? An action romance comedy? “Superintelligence” is a glitchy system that has no idea what it wants to be, resulting in it being one of the biggest disappointments of the year. Aside from its respectable cast and a passable final act, the film suffered from a series of malfunctions such as Falcone’s direction, its poor execution on the humor, and its tedious story. It didn’t take an artificial intelligence to figure out what went wrong with the final result.
Peter Berg is known for making some of the best fact-based thrillers in his promising career, but he’s also known for some of his disappointing misfires. His latest film, “Spenser Confidential”, is one of them. The film adaptation of Ace Atkins’s 2013 novel Wonderland saw the reunion of Berg and Mark Wahlberg, and while it’s a bit more tolerable than “Mile 22”, it’s another underwhelming collaboration between the duo. Despite a suitable cast and some decent action scenes, this action thriller from Netflix wasn’t able to provide plenty of riveting mystery elements because of its underdeveloped characters, its uneven tone, and its bland screenplay. This is a pretty big slap in the face for me and the fans of the source material.
Family films with talking animals usually spell trouble for critics, save for “Babe”. While cute in their own way, their stories can be a bit too nonsensical for their own good. My next pick happens to be one of them, but sadly, it wasn’t as entertaining as it could’ve been. “Dolittle” took a more faithful approach to the source material it’s based on, but its execution lead it to become a bland and CGI-bloated mess that’s more accessible to kids rather than their parents. To its credit, it did its part in providing some charm in its messages and the voice cast for the animals. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent the film from being a mediocre voyage that’ll make several people question Robert Downey Jr.’s career choices outside of his Marvel Cinematic Universe role. With its poor screenplay, unmemorable characters, and its stale humor, this latest iteration of Hugh Lofting’s character made the Eddie Murphy version look like Shakespeare by comparison.
A not-so-good comedy from Happy Madison Productions and Netflix? Surprise, surprise. “The Wrong Missy” is a forgettable and unsatisfying romantic comedy that may not impress people who aren’t fans of the recent works that Adam Sandler and his gang were involved in. While I admittedly enjoyed Lauren Lapkus’s performance, I’m afraid that she wasn’t enough to save this disastrous blind date because of its cliched screenplay and its mediocre humor.
With the combination of the Disney brand and a popular book series it’s based on, this could’ve been the next “Chronicles of Narnia” or the next “Harry Potter". Instead, it wound up being one of the studio’s biggest disasters in its recent years. “Artemis Fowl”, which is available on Disney+, failed to impress both the fans of the source material and newcomers who are unfamiliar with the characters. I wasn’t expecting this film to that bad, but to my surprise, Disney managed to prove me otherwise. The plot was extremely thin, the characters were one-dimensional, the narrative was way too rushed and underwhelming, and some of the performances from the cast weren’t really that impressive. This is definitely something that the studio should leave behind in order to maintain their dignity.
There were times when a film not only failed to meet our expectations, but was also overshadowed by backlash due to their concepts. “The Last Days of American Crime” is one of those times. Controversy aside, this latest thriller from director Olivier Megaton is an overlong and tasteless experience that tried way too hard to be an epic and thought-provoking crime blockbuster. With its excessive runtime, uncaring characters, and its lack of strong thrills, the film has committed a crime that should not go unpunished.
There are good horror films, there are bad horror films, and there are horror films that made me pretty angry. This film belongs in a category where “angry” isn’t enough to describe my reaction towards it. “The Turning” is the type of horror film that managed to turn my head for all of the wrong reasons. Despite its gloriously creepy atmosphere and a passable cast, the film was an infuriating experience that’s neither scary nor captivating enough to capitalize on its gothic tone. The scares were forgettable, the plot and the characters were poorly-handled, and the ending…my God, the ending. That has got to be one of the worst things I have ever experienced in my life. If you want to know why I hated the ending, go read my full review of the film. This was another horror experience that completely wasted my time, and the same should be said to those who dare to view it themselves.
What seemed to be a dream come true for fans of the “Fantasy Island” show from the 1970s actually turned out to be an unwatchable nightmare. Helmed by Jeff Wadlow, the guy behind the terrible “Truth or Dare”, Blumhouse’s “Fantasy Island” attempted to transform its light-hearted premise into a full-fledged horror film about the dangers of wish-making. This resulted in a cliche-heavy and tame dream that’s extremely easy to forget. Due to Wadlow’s weak direction, mediocre characters, and a severe lack of scares, this is one vacation that you shouldn’t take. The film also shows further proof that Jeff Wadlow should take a break from the horror genre and move on to something else.
Yes, this film existed. Yes, the title was meant to be a joke, and yes, it’s as bad as you thought it would be. After directing the entertaining “Stuber” last year, Michael Dowse immediately went downhill with a comedy that wasted the cast’s talents like they were pieces of unused paper. Lazy, repetitive, offensive, and downright unbearable, “Coffee & Kareem” is quite possibly the most embarrassing buddy comedy that Netflix had to offer. It was a massive joke that’s more insufferable than funny.
What a way to end off this year’s top ten worst list: with the first 2020 film I reviewed way back in January. You know, before the virus showed up and kept us inside our homes for months. There were plenty of films this year that reeked of horribleness, but none of them reeked as badly as the latest installment in the “Grudge” franchise. The 2020 version of “The Grudge” got the same treatment as the “Hellboy” reboot, in which it received an adult rating compared to the PG-13 rating that the previous installments had. While the “Hellboy” reboot was an okay watch despite its easy-to-digest flaws, “The Grudge” is an intolerable experience that used the R rating as an excuse to justify its existence. It just goes to show that just because a specific franchise got a rating upgrade, it doesn’t make it better. From its dull story to its poorly-developed characters, the continuation of the horror franchise is not only a major disgrace to Takashi Shimizu’s version, but it’s also one of the most painful theatrical experiences that I had ever sat through and the absolute worse film of 2020 in my eyes.
There you have it. Those are my ten least favorite films to cap off the year. Overall, 2020…was an ugly introduction to the new decade. Every year has a series of ups and downs, but this year happens to be special for all of the wrong reasons. Every time we have some good news, they’re immediately replaced by something that kept dragging us down to the abyss, especially the coronavirus deaths. If you happen to be one of the people who have been deeply affected by the virus, whether it’s one of your family members that died or the fact that you’ve been tested positive, I would like to say I’m sorry this happened to you and I hope you get through it okay. After everything that we’ve been through, including the COVID-19 lockdown and the infamous presidential debate, it’s safe to say that this is one year we all want to leave behind and never look back. As we all look forward to a new year filled with highly-anticipated films, let us all remember that as long as we show our continued support for one another and keep ourselves strong and healthy, we’ll return to our normal lives sooner rather than later, and we can go back to celebrating the art of cinema at our own cinemas. With that in mind, everybody, stay safe out there and have a happy new year.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. Well, guys, we finally made it. 2020 has officially wrapped, and my God, it has been one heck of a year. Not just for us, but also for the film industry. We had a share of good moments this year, like getting a decent “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie. However, those moments were quickly overshadowed by the coronavirus. As a result, most of the films that were supposed to come out in 2020 were either pushed back to next year or released straight to streaming. There were also some pretty bad stuff that happened this year, such as losing so many people to the virus, the death of George Floyd that sparked a ton of “Black Lives Matter” marches, and the loss of many talented people from the film industry like Sean Connery and Chadwick Boseman. Yeah, I guess you can say that this is a pretty horrible start to a new decade. But you know what they say, in every bad year, there’s always a silver lining, which is seeing some of the best films either in the theater or on streaming (mostly the latter). That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I am once again finishing off the year with my top ten best films list. Now this list was a bit challenging for me compared to my previous top ten lists because I haven’t got the chance to review all of the movies that came out in theaters or on demand or on a streaming service and again, almost all of the films I wanted to see were delayed to next year. I also realized that there were also some more well-received films that came out already in the theater or on demand, but due to some circumstances such as saving money and staying safe, I wasn’t able to get to them. So for those who wanted me to review something like “Wolfwalkers” on Apple TV+ this year, I apologize for not getting to watch it before I make this list. I heard a lot of great things about it, but sadly, I got enough streaming services on my plate as it is, and I already used the free trial deal to review “Greyhound”. If you’re wondering why I didn’t use it again to review “Wolfwalkers”, the only answer I can give you is…I have no idea. As always, this is my personal list of the films that I believe were exceptional or just plain fun experiences. If you’re expecting it to be like the other critics’ top ten lists, then you’ve come to the wrong place. With that said, let’s count down the winners.
Let’s start this list off with a documentary that you might not have recognized until I mentioned it. After premiering in theaters two years ago, “Howard” finally made its way to our televisions as a Disney+ original, and it’s something that should not be missed, especially for Disney fans. This is such a heartwarming and informative tribute to one of Disney’s most inspiring workers of all time, Howard Ashman, the man behind such memorable songs like “Under the Sea” and “Be Our Guest”. With its unique presentation, its passionate essence, and a subtle musical score, “Howard” is a fascinating and interesting look at the songwriter’s career and how he inspired those around him. He may be gone, but his work will live on forever.
Christopher Nolan has reinvented the scientific wheel in his films for quite some time, and the final results were nothing but spectacular, and this film is no different. “Tenet” saw the filmmaker combining time and quantum physics with its spy thriller elements to create one of the best theatrical experiences I have ever witnessed. This was one of the first two films I saw in theaters since they reopened back in late August, the other being “The New Mutants”, and while I can admit that it has problems, it reminded me why I enjoyed the cinematic experience in the first place. It’s far from Nolan’s best film due to its troubling sound design and its uninteresting main character, but it’s an engaging and well-directed thriller that features a talented cast and some incredible technical qualities. Yes, the story can be convoluted for some people, but that’s what makes Nolan so special to begin with. He likes to challenge his audience’s brains as well as entertain them. Once you get used to its complexity, you’ll also be enjoying the ride in no time.
If I have to choose which day I want to relive over and over again, it would have to be the day when I first experienced this charming time-loop comedy. “Palm Springs” is a refreshing and humorous take on the plot element that was made famous thanks to the likes of “Groundhog Day”. Max Barbakow’s directorial debut features plenty of suitable moments that overshadow its rom-com cliches, such as the irresistible chemistry between Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, its humor, and a well-executed screenplay by Andy Siara. If you have a Hulu subscription, make sure you put this film on your watchlist.
We can all agree that war is just as hellish as 2020, but we can also agree that no one can represent that nightmarish death trap from an African-American veteran’s perspective better than Mr. Spike Lee himself. “Da 5 Bloods” was the first great film I saw this year, and it deserved to be on my top ten list for numerous reasons. It’s ambitious, it’s honest, it’s unnerving, and more importantly, it’s crucial to the current problems we’re facing today in terms of race. Lead by a strong cast (most notably Delroy Lindo and the late Chadwick Boseman), Lee’s direction, and a stellar screenplay, the film honored its sole purpose and delivered an emotional story about a broken brotherhood in the midst of greed, war, and trauma. Its grisly imagery and its runtime might be a bit too much for those who are squeamish, but for fans of the brilliant filmmaker, it’s another call to action that must be answered.
Two years ago, Aneesh Chaganty made himself known to the public thanks to his directorial debut, “Searching”. Now, he managed to continue his winning streak with another amazing low-budget thriller. “Run” is a tension-filled and small-scale thrill ride that’s packed with tons of surprises and plenty of effective scares. Sarah Paulson delivered her most frightening performance of her career, and Kiera Allen made a stunning acting debut as the wheelchair-bound teenager. Combine them with Chaganty’s direction and its splendid use of anxiety-inducing suspense, and you get one of the best thrillers in recent years. Here’s hoping the filmmaker can maintain his success with his next project.
The next film on my list is something that’s completely different compared to my other picks because this isn’t really a film at all. It’s actually a live recording of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s successful Broadway musical, “Hamilton”. I know that this isn’t technically an actual movie, but hey, how else am I supposed to fill up this empty slot? I had not watched “Hamilton” when it first came out, but thanks to the power of Disney+, I was now able to, and honestly, it’s just as fantastic as everyone said it was. The cast was phenomenal in their roles, the music was energetic and catchy, and its narrative was unique, but also respectable given its culture. Excessive runtime aside, the musical succeeded in celebrating both America then and America now. This is one of the reasons why you should subscribe to Disney+.
In order to be successful, you have to find your own voice. This is another film that you may not be familiar with, but is worth checking out. “The Forty-Year-Old Version” recounts the real-life experience of Radha Blank’s career as a playwright and a rapper through the eyes of the woman herself. This is an inspiring and well-written comedy-drama that’s not only gorgeous to look at in terms of its black-and-white cinematography, but also subtle and truthful with its social themes. Lead by an outstanding performance by Blank and her direction, the film signals a bright future for her as both an actor and a filmmaker.
You want to know what living with hearing loss feels like? Try checking out this small film from Amazon Studios. “Sound of Metal” doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to its subject matter, and because of this, it transforms itself into a realistic and well-made representation of the difficult struggle towards acceptance. Riz Ahmed delivered his best performance of his career, and the sound design perfectly reflects the perspective of the person who’s experiencing hearing loss. Darius Marder also did a fantastic job at understanding the process and paying respect to how the deaf community operates in terms of his direction. Not only does it work as an engaging and thoughtful drama, but it also works as a learning tool for its viewers because it gives them an idea on what they would expect if it would happen to them. These things alone make this a must-watch for Amazon Prime subscribers.
Haven’t heard of this part of history before? Don’t worry, this film has got you covered. This couldn’t have come at a better time when it comes to the racial tensions we’re dealing with today, and the fact that it’s brilliantly well-handled and no one has ever mentioned the trial it’s based on makes its existence even more worthwhile. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is an emotionally-driven and thought-provoking legal drama that showcases Aaron Sorkin as a gifted screenwriter and a skilled filmmaker. The performances from the cast were spectacular, the dialogue-driven sequences were heart-pounding and powerful, and its screenplay honored its political and legal themes through stellar dialogue. This is one film that you definitely don’t want to miss out on, especially during this time.
I’m pretty sure you guys saw this coming a mile away. Given how much I love Pixar and animation, you should already know that the studio’s latest film is worthy enough to join this list as my number one pick. Pete Docter returned to take audiences on a life-changing journey through creativity and animation, and boy, was it a marvelous one. “Soul” is not only beautifully animated, but it’s also emotionally compelling when it comes to its visual storytelling and its themes. It shows why Pixar is one of the best animation studios of all time and why Pete Docter is one of the best animation directors ever. They create stories that entertain the kids with their charming characters and colorful worlds as well as the adults with their meaningful messages and emotional depth. I’m happy to say that “Soul” is one of the films that fit that description perfectly. The story was superbly well-told, the characters were great, its screenplay was smartly-written, and the animation was sensational. This is something that I can easily relate to because I have a strong passion for movies, and I always dream of being a part of the film industry. After watching the film, it made me realize that life is more than just following my dream. It’s also about spending every minute with the ones I love and the world I live in. The film serves as a perfect reminder to appreciate every little moment we have in our lives, and that is why it deserves a spot as my favorite film of 2020.
That concludes my list of the top ten best films of 2020. While the year will be remembered for its infamous moments, it will also be remembered for its amazing films, whether they’re in theaters or on a streaming service. I also want to apologize for not including an “honorable mentions” section on this list, which happens to be a first for me in terms of top ten lists. The reason why is that I haven’t seen enough films this year that managed to impress me as much as the films on my main list. Hopefully in 2021, I’ll have enough great films to bring that section back for my next top ten best list. Until then, this will have to do. Stay tuned for my next episode where I share my top ten least favorite films of 2020.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to a brand new episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. This is a special kind of episode because I will be talking about something that doesn’t relate to any film or television show. Today, I will be talking about my personal journey to where I am today. Five years ago, there was an idea to bring together two different groups of people: one that is interested in movie reviews and one that enjoys fan-fiction stories featuring some of their favorite characters. That idea became a reality and that reality’s name is moviemanMDG, which describes not just my brand, but also the website that I created. Despite a few setbacks here and there, my site has been going strong for five years, and I have you guys, the readers, to thank for inspiring me to keep on going. But how did I get to this point, you may ask? What inspired me to create this astounding website that’s filled with reviews and crossovers? All of these questions will be answered right now as we take a look at the rise of moviemanMDG.
Every legend has an origin story, so it would make sense that I should have one as well. Now, we’re not going back to when I was born because that will take all week. We’re actually going back to the time when I first started my non-paying career on Youtube, which was 2010. I was on the verge of attending junior year at high school when I decided to have some fun uploading my own videos onto Youtube. I went with the name “moviemanMDG” for two reasons. The first reason is that I’m a big fan of watching movies, obviously, and the second reason is that I thought it would sound cool. Now, this is when I first started making crossovers, right? Well, not really. I actually started my Youtube career with a couple of “let’s play” videos, in which I showcased my video game playing skills to the world. Because I didn’t have the proper technology at the time, I just used my video camera to record the games I played on my television. Those “let’s play” videos consist of “SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants” for the Playstation 2, “SpongeBob’s Boating Bash”, and “Megamind: Mega Team Unite”, both of which are on the Wii. I also did a “let’s play” of one of my favorite PS2 games of all time, “Kingdom Hearts”, for the channel, but I wound up putting it in the trash halfway through because to be honest, I wasn’t really comfortable with that run. Later on, I went from doing “let’s plays” to editing different clips of some of my favorite movies and shows with my trustworthy Sony Vegas editing software. During that time, I created some “Youtube Poop” videos, which were pretty inferior to the ones that were made by the other Youtube users, as well as some crossover projects, which were inspired by the “Pooh’s Adventures” videos during the early years of Youtube. Before I went forward with “Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Ultimate Ed-Chronicles”, I made a couple of crossovers that involve one of the recent shows from Disney, “Phineas and Ferb”. If you’ve been following my Youtube channel since the beginning, you might have remembered watching the videos that have Phineas and Ferb crossing over with the likes of “The Lion King”, “Peter Pan”, and “Return to Neverland” before they were sent to the great beyond sometime later. If you guys are still wondering why I deleted them in the first place, it’s because I believed that I could do a lot better with my fan-fiction storytelling. Plus, Youtube wouldn’t stop harassing me with its copyright notices. Every crossover maker’s worse nightmare. Fast forward to the year 2014 when I first decided to pursue my career as a film critic during my college years. I noticed that my friends and family have enjoyed hearing my personal thoughts on the films I’ve seen, resulting in my mother convincing me that I should share them with the world on the internet. So, I did just that, but with a twist. I made it my goal to post movie reviews that are light-hearted and funny whether a film is excellent or terrible, and have fun writing them. I want to be a critic that people can depend on and doesn’t go out of the way to shred a certain film (or the people that are involved) to pieces if they don’t like it because that’s what most of them do nowadays to provide some entertainment, which I found nowadays to be highly annoying and just plain sad. I want to be a critic that explains what they like and what they don’t like about a film in the most mature and humorous way possible because in a world that’s filled with negativity and violence, we all need some happiness in our lives. I got started writing my reviews by using Facebook, but it didn’t quite work out since I keep losing them to the old Facebook junk pile. So, I went with the next best thing a year later, which is Letterboxd, a website that allows users to share their list of films they’ve seen as well as their reviews. They might not be as informative or creative as the reviews by the professional critics, but to me, they work as a reminder of how much I improved as the years went by. Say what you want about my older reviews. I’m proud of them, no ifs, ands, or big old buts about them. Thanks to my reviews, I was able to join a Facebook group that loves movies and respects other people’s opinions. Well, okay, two Facebook groups, one of which is called “Movie Magic Mesmerize Me”. I didn’t last very long with the second Facebook movie group because it’s full of disgusting bullies who wasted their time posting despicable comments towards others and I didn’t want to deal with that type of stuff. 2014 is also the same year when I try the crossover route again, this time with the assistance of another crossover lover, Andrew St. Germain (aka “B-Master Animation”), and my personal favorite cartoon from my childhood, “Ed, Edd n Eddy”. After making my first crossover with the show, “Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Rise of Maleficent”, I formed an idea of making a crossover series based on it, which would pay homage to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that idea is called, you guessed it, “Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Ultimate Ed-Chronicles”. Starting with “Transformers: Legend of the Black Cauldron”, I make projects that combine themselves to make several big story arcs, or “sagas” as I would like to call them. My personal mission with my creations is to create compelling fictional stories and pay respect to the source materials I’m using. So far, I have been doing quite well despite suffering a bit from a few creative differences with my partner Andrew. These two things I had done have already created a path to a better future for me despite having to balance them with my personal stuff in life like school, college, taking care of my family, and my job at the cinema. Gotta earn some money somehow. After finally graduating from college in 2015, my real journey begins.
The summer of 2015 saw another success in my crossover business in the form of “Transformers: Legend of the Black Cauldron”. Sure, I still had to deal with my job, my family, my reviews, and Youtube constantly striking me with copyright claims, but in the end, it turned out as well as I hoped it would. But after that, things started to get more…problematic. Remember when I mentioned that Youtube keeps bothering me with the copyright claims? Well, it didn’t seem like a major issue with my first two “Ed, Ed n Eddy” crossovers, but for the ones afterwards, it was starting to become more of a threat. It started with the third installment in the “Ultimate Ed-Chronicles” series, “Ed, Edd n Eddy meets the Penguins of Madagascar”, which is a crossover that’s based on the “Madagascar” spin-off film. After making the first few parts of the project, I attempted to upload the first part onto Youtube and, surprise! It was blocked worldwide the second it became available. I tried everything like shortening the clips and shortening the length of the part, and I still couldn’t get it to stay on the website. It’s like me playing basketball with Youtube. Every attempt I made to get a good shot, Youtube kept getting in my way and blocked it. It’s unfair, but it’s also fair at the same time because personally, I didn’t want to get in trouble with the law. Because of this, I was certain that I would place my focus only on my reviews in order to pursue my long-time goal of being a professional film critic. Sometime later, my mother mentioned an idea of creating a blog for me to store my reviews and get recognized more easily. I thought about it for a while and soon after, I decided to do just that in early October. Using a blog-creating website known as Weebly, I created a site that allows me to share not only the most friendly reviews on the planet, but also my crossover creations. I tested things out by posting my review of Guillermo del Toro’s “Crimson Peak” on my blog, and I immediately realized how simple it was to insert words and photos on the post. That’s when I decided to use my blog as my main source for movie reviews. I also decided to share my posted reviews via Letterboxd, Facebook, and Twitter in order to reach a wider audience. Posting reviews on my blog proved to be an easy task for me, but posting my crossovers? That’s the true challenge. I gave myself a test to see if Weebly would accept the videos I made, and believe it or not, I actually passed. I haven’t gotten a single email from the website in terms of copyright (well, not yet, at least), so I proclaimed that my blog will also be the official home of “The Ultimate Ed-Chronicles”, and the rest is history. As the years went by, I was able to improve myself not just with writing reviews, but also with editing. They might not be on a professional level, but who cares? As long as I’m proud of my style, that’s all that matters.
In conclusion, the main reason why I got to this level of success in the first place is that I relied on three simple things: balance, determination, and support. I was able to find a way to balance what I love with living a normal life, ranging from taking care of my family to working at the cinema. If I focus more on one thing rather than the other, then everything will fall apart faster than building blocks. I always find the time to schedule my break times along with my work times so that I don’t get too stressed out with both of them. I also have a sense of determination that allowed me to use my interests to show my creativity to the entire world, whether it’s reviewing movies or working on my projects, and I wouldn’t have that much determination without the support of my friends, my family, and my fans. Without them, I wouldn’t have the strength to be where I am today. With that in mind, I want to express my thanks to those who are still inspiring me to keep on going, especially you, the reader. It has been an unusual journey for me so far, and I’m glad that I’m still taking it with you guys. Whatever obstacle we might face in the future, I’m sure that we can get through it together. Here’s to another five years of reviews, crossovers, and imagination.
Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. Well, we pretty much knew that this would happen sooner or later. The Coronavirus is continuing to spread all over the world, and we are all forced to stay in our homes in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. Social gatherings are banned, restaurants are closed, a lot of bars have been shut down, and more importantly, movie theaters have been blocked off. For the latter, this means that several movies are being delayed until further notice, especially the most anticipated ones like “A Quiet Place Part II”, “Black Widow”, and “F9”. This also means that I won’t be reviewing any new theatrical films for the next couple of weeks (or possibly longer). Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that my website is going on a hiatus as well. I am still going to be working on my crossovers, and I might plan on reviewing some films from the past as well as some films that are released straight-to-DVD or streaming. So if you have any suggestions on what film I should review, don’t be afraid to let me know. Anyway, let’s start off this episode by talking about what we should watch with our families while we’re stuck in quarantine. Since we’re going to be stuck at our homes for a while, I think now is the best time for us to rely on our streaming services to keep us company, whether it’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Disney+. There are a ton of films and shows for us to choose from, but for this episode, I will be choosing the best ones from Netflix and Disney+ that are made for kids and their parents or teachers because these two streaming services are usually the best places for family-friendly content. Kids are out of school because of the Coronavirus, so we got to have something to keep them from being bored out of their minds. This request comes from my mother’s friend, who is an elementary school teacher. She wanted me to talk about the films that are made for entertainment purposes or educational purposes since her students are off of school for a couple of weeks. So if you’re reading this right now, Margret, this episode’s for you. Just to make this clear, I will only be listing the films that I already saw. I’m not going to be talking about every family-friendly film that is available to stream because my mental capacity isn’t big enough to take them all in. Also, this list is not a top ten list. These are just the films that I believe are good enough for me to recommend to kids and their parents during this unfortunate time. Now then, let’s get to it.
Let’s start things off with Netflix, which has a lot of family-friendly content that we either watched a thousand times or haven’t even heard of. Believe me, there are plenty of lesser-known stuff on there that left me scratching my head in disbelief, but I don’t want to go into full detail about them because I am not a time waster. Here are the four films from Netflix that I would definitely recommend to families in no particular order.
Kung Fu Panda 2
One of the most common elements that we notice from Hollywood is that they made sequels that didn’t quite capture the same impact as their predecessors. Some of them are mostly enjoyable and some of them made us question their existence in a bad way. However, there are some sequels that happened to be just as good as the originals. If not, better. Take DreamWorks Animation, for example. With the exception of “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After”, DreamWorks has been pretty consistent with making sequels that were as good as or better than their predecessors. “Shrek 2”, “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”, “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, the list goes on, but there is one sequel that I loved the most out of all of them, and it’s available to watch on Netflix as of this writing. That, my friends, is “Kung Fu Panda 2”, the second chapter in the “Kung Fu Panda” trilogy. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who went on to helm “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “The Darkest Minds”, this 2011 sequel continues the adventures of Po (voiced by Jack Black), who goes on a perilous journey with the Furious Five to prevent a villainous peacock named Lord Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman) from using a powerful weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. During this journey, Po must solve the mysteries of his past in order to accomplish this dangerous mission. There are plenty of reasons why “Kung Fu Panda” is one of my favorite trilogies of all time, such as the lovable characters, the animation, the Chinese culture, its perfect mixture of martial arts action and comedy, and its well-developed story arc, which depicts Po’s journey of self-discovery. While I loved both “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 3” for different reasons, I have to classify this one as my favorite film of the trilogy and as one of the animated sequels that I think should fuel the families’ desire for some pure awesomeness while they’re stuck at home. “Kung Fu Panda 2” took advantage of the materials that made the first film work and made them better, such as the characters and the animation. More importantly, it had a story that consistently blends its dark tone and emotional themes with its kid-friendly energy, making this one of the suitable options for both kids and adults who grew up with animation. It’s like “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, but with anthropomorphic Chinese animals who learn kung fu. If you like the first “Kung Fu Panda” film, but haven’t seen this one, now’s your chance to do so. Great story, fun characters, fantastic animation, and of course, a formidable antagonist who is still one of my favorite villains that DreamWorks Animation has created.
This next film on the list won’t be coming to Disney+ until later on, but you can still catch this adorable piece of nostalgia on Netflix. “Christopher Robin” is another reimagining of one of Disney’s animated treasures, and it involves the title character as an adult who attempts to reconnect with his child-like sense of wonder with the help of Winnie the Pooh and his animal friends. Directed by Marc Forster, the film is an innocent and family-friendly reintroduction of the franchise to a new generation of kids with a valuable message about the importance of family and having a bit of childhood-like wonder in your lives. It doesn’t have a lot of high-stakes action and a buttload of CGI like the studio’s other live-action remakes of their animated classics, but that’s what makes it stand out above those reimaginings. With its charming cast and a well-told story that’s somehow equivalent to Steven Spielberg’s “Hook”, this is one of the better live-action remakes that Disney has to offer during this era and one of the more harmless films for families who need a break from the big-budget action and the mindless cartoon shenanigans.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
You kids want a Marvel film that doesn’t involve Thanos wiping out half of the entire population? Netflix has got you covered. In 2018, Sony Pictures Animation made a humongous comeback after suffering from a huge critical misfire that was “The Emoji Movie”. It did the impossible that could set a new path for the animation studio (hopefully). It made a fantastic animated Spider-Man film that also became an Oscar winner. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a visually immersive and action-packed superhero experience that consists of heart and a lot of Spider-people. This is my favorite film of 2018 for many reasons: the characters, the action, the story, its message about heroism, and its original animation style. Everything about this film is sheer perfection. So if you and your kids want a Spider-Man film that doesn’t have a lot of PG-13 rated material, “Into the Spider-Verse” is your best choice.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Now here’s another sequel on Netflix that managed to be just as good as the original, and it’s from Disney. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is not only an impressive sequel that’s filled with lovable characters and stellar animation, but it is also a great learning tool for kids who want to try out the Internet for the first time. In addition to its bold story about friendship, the film uses its classic Disney quality and its witty humor to explore the aspects of the Internet in a family-friendly matter, such as Internet memes, online games, social media, and clickbait pop-ups. It also didn’t shy away from displaying the pros and cons of the Internet, mostly the cons, because let’s face it, the Internet is not a perfect place to live in. There’s a scene that involves Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) reading plenty of negative comments about him from the users on “BuzzzTube”, and there’s also a scene that has Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman) exploring the dark web. To me, these scenes work in exploring the bad side of the Internet without alienating its target audience. They’re not too dark, and they’re not too goofy. They have the right amount of charm and intelligence to entertain both kids and adults alike as well as educate newcomers about the wonders of the Internet. So, teachers, if you want to teach your students about the Internet via film, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is my absolute recommendation. It is also another animated sequel that’s worth watching with the family during quarantine hours.
Now that we got Netflix out of the way, let’s focus on my biggest challenge: Disney+. Disney+ is the home of all things Disney…and Fox…and National Geographic, and since I loved almost all of the films that are on there, it was hard for me to pick the ones that I would recommend the most. So I did the best I could and chose at least four films on the streaming service that I think are insightful and entertaining enough to please the kids. Let me remind you again that this is in no particular order.
In times like this, we all need a reminder that we need to respect one another regardless of their race and sex. We have many films that deal with this type of subject matter, but none of them seem to be acceptable enough for kid-friendly viewing. None of them except “Zootopia”, of course. Like “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, “Zootopia” serves as both a smart and hilarious animated film and a fantastic learning tool for kids. The main reason why I would recommend this 2016 film is because it offered many themes that are similar to what we’re dealing with right now, such as diversity and racial discrimination, without dumbing them down for the little ones. With the world still not learning their lesson, I think now is a good time for parents and teachers to use this film to teach their kids about this type of stuff. Plus, it’s a great buddy cop movie that consists of likable characters and splendid animation.
It’s highly inevitable that I have to include this film on my list. I’ve been saying it a lot before, and I will say it again in case you forgot. “Inside Out” is the best thing that came out of Pixar’s think tank. If you haven’t seen this yet, then stop reading and go watch it with your kids immediately. Everything about this film is pure Pixar poetry, ranging from its clever storytelling to its imaginative animation. It is still the only film so far that I have seen seven times in the theater. Yeah, it’s that good. The film’s producers had to consult a lot of psychologists in order to make this concept relatable to adults and their kids, and based on the results, their hard work paid off extremely well. This is also another great learning tool for the teachers to use because it helps the students learn about the importance of every emotion in our lives. Kids need to learn that it’s okay to feel happy or sad or angry or scared or disgusted because these emotions make us who we are as a whole. There’s really nothing else I could say about it that hasn’t been said before. It is another Pixar classic and a helpful way to teach the young children about emotions.
We have another Pixar film that I would highly recommend if you haven’t watched it yet. “Coco” is a creative and thought-provoking depiction of the Mexican holiday, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), that is backed up by its well-detailed animation and emotional depth. Not only that, but it is also a suitable film for teachers to use if they’re teaching their students about the Mexican culture and the holiday tradition. Yes, there’s also “The Book of Life”, which is another animated film that deals with Day of the Dead, but I think “Coco” is a better option for families and teachers to watch when it comes to the story and the representation of the culture. Plus, it’s a film about the importance of family, so it makes sense why I included this film on my list.
The Lion King
Another obvious choice from yours truly. I know that we all saw it a thousand times before, but considering the fact that “The Lion King” is an animated gem, there’s no doubt that we want to see it a thousand more while we’re stuck in our homes for a couple of weeks. Packed with a captivating story about adolescence, gorgeous animation, memorable characters, and songs that get stuck in your head after a while, it’s no wonder that this 1994 animated classic still holds up today. The 2019 remake is also available to watch on Disney+, but as much as I liked it for staying true to its story and its amazing visuals, it doesn’t quite hold a candle to what the original version offered more than 20 years ago. Kids will be able to enjoy this one for its flawless animation and its lovable characters like Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa, while the parents and teachers will appreciate it for teaching kids about not letting the past define who they are.
So there you have it. Those are the films from Netflix and Disney+ that I think will satisfy the families’ needs during the quarantine hours. It may not be much, but I think they’re enough to keep them and their kids busy until this whole thing blows over and everything goes back to normal. If you have any more suggestions as to what they should watch at home, make sure you leave a comment below, and remember to stay safe, keep yourself healthy, and enjoy the show.