Snapshots - #39: Coco, Pitch Perfect 3, Star Wars: Episodes VII and VIII

Coco (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Miguel, a young aspiring singer, is afraid to defy his family's forsaking of music. On the Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday to celebrate the dead, Miguel is, unwillingly, granted night passage to the Land of the Dead, where he meets his ancestors and gets valuable life lessons.

This Disney/Pixar production has great animation and music, is colorful, fun, has endearing characters (both living and dead). Coco also has meaningful lessons about the value of traditions, the importance of family, loyalty, and honoring one's ancestors, all in a very entertaining package. Don't let the fact that it is an animated movie deter you from enjoying this gem. Coco is a great story to ponder for kids and adults alike.

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017), (♦♦♦♦): The members of the a cappella singing sensation ‘The Bellas’ have graduated from college and are realizing that they suck big time at real life. They miss the singing, the mischief, and the camaraderie. The father of on…

Iron Man 2 (♦♦♦♦)

In this star-studded sequel, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is summoned by the U.S. Senate to testify regarding the use of his armed suit and subsequent surrender to the U.S. military as property of the American people. Tony refuses on the basis of his “successful privatization of world peace”, also alleging that most countries are, at best, ten or twenty years away from achieving his technology. Little does he know, that a Russian physicist with a forty years old family grudge is about to bring mayhem on Stark’s empire.

The cynic, dry sense of humor that was Stark’s trademark in the first movie has been kept intact, thank God! Lt. Commander James Rhodes is played here by Don Cheadle rather than Terrence Howard, but I would have liked the latter to preserve more of the original elements that made this film so successful. Gwyneth Paltrow is a nerve-wreck in this installment, a contrast to the take charge Pepper Potts of the first movie. Tony’s nemesis, Justin Hammer, CEO of Hammer Industries, is a very refreshing character, and he seems to feel at ease with the competitive atmosphere of the film. The best villain in the series is interpreted by Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, a brilliant physicist who has designed a suit with the same arc technology as the Iron Man suit.

Since I love this franchise, I’m willing to overlook the fact that Tony Stark constructed a particle accelerator in his basement and thus created a new chemical element! One of the funniest scenes in the film is when Iron Man and Rhodey have to face Ivan in his Iron Man suit and Rhodey says that he is going to face him with the “Ex-wife”; said weapon fails tremendously, which makes Stark remark, “Hammer’s technology?”

In summary, I really liked this film, but still the first installment reigns supreme!