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

Image
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…

Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle



Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.

Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Mountain Hotshots.


Jane (2017), (♦♦♦♦): In 1957, Doctor Louis Leakey secured a grant for the research of chimpanzees’ behavior in the wild. He wasn't looking particularly for a university graduate, but a person with a deep love for animals, patience, and an open mind. He recruited his then 26-year-old secretary, Jane, to travel to Gombe, Tanzania, to set up camp and report her observations. What ensued was the pioneering and longest running research of animal behavior of a single species in the wild that has lasted for more than fifty years.


Pieced together from more than 100 hours of recording by wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick, Jane is a documentary film on the life and groundbreaking research of Jane Goodall. Sometimes in voice over narration, accompanied by brief interview style, we learn of her humble beginnings, her mother's invaluable support, her collaboration with van Lawick—she as an observer, he as a videographer—, their blooming love and eventual wedding, as well as the evolution of her research—starting with the days when it was only observations via binoculars, to the eventual trust and acceptance by the first chimp community she interacted with.

Jane is chock full of stunning wildlife photography courtesy of Hugo van Lawick—renowned as one of the best wildlife photographers ever— from the Gombe chimps, native wildlife, as well as the Serengeti plain migration. Jane is also an inestimable source on the life of a pioneer researcher and her invaluable imprint on her field of study.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four high schoolers are sent to detention and accidentally find a video game that sucks them right into its midst. Their avatar alter-egos, all with varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses, will have to defend a fabled land called 'Jumanji' from the curse that has overtaken it. They each have been given three lives and a map to complete the task of replacing an ancient stone, stolen by a rival, that is the source of balance to Jumanji. Together they will face assassins, wild animals, as well as brave the elements. But...will they be able to survive the challenges of 'Jumanji' and leave unscathed, or at all?


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle works best when it doesn't take itself too seriously. Its humor, when not trying too hard, which is already in the middle of the action with the characters inside the game, is very tongue in cheek and makes ample use of the movie's secret weapon: the presence of high caliber comedian Kevin Hart handling some of the most inspired jokes. The ones courtesy of Bethany's alter ego (Jack Black) are juvenile at best (e.g., Jack Black hitting on Nick Jonas), and likely intended towards a young audience.

Overall, the action is entertaining and the setting is beautiful. If well time won't feel like it has flown, at least the film will make you feel like you got your money's worth with pure escapism.

Comments

  1. My family was a faithful subscriber to National Geographic when I was growing up and I devoured every issue, which is how I came to know the Leakey family and Jane Goodall, as well as Diane Fossey. I was completely fascinated by the group and read every word I could find about them. Jane sounds like a wonderful introduction to anyone unfamiliar or only slightly familiar with this intrepid observer/investigator. She is one of the people that I most admire in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the feeling that, among the ladies who follow, you would know Jane Goodall the most. I knew only the bare essentials about her, but after this docu-film...Wow! What a trailblazing woman!

      Delete
  2. I can attest that your review of Only the Brave is accurate. That movie really got to me.
    I wasn't sure I wanted to see Jane but after your review, I do! Also I like the look of your post with more visuals from each movie.
    Reporting on movies we watched or will watch soon on your recommendation: American Made, excellent, nice to see Tom playing someone besides the MI guy, with a good screenplay and soundtrack.
    We have Marshall and Loving Vincent in the house for the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Judy! I always wonder what happens after I recommend movies; you have covered it all. Thanks for the compliments. Yes, American Made was a lot of fun with Tom Cruise letting loose for a change. I liked that. I hope you enjoy the other two movies as did I.

      Delete
  3. Carmen, looks like another good batch of watching. I love the sound of Jane but I am in two minds about Jumanji: whilst it looks fun, I think I love the original film too much to watch it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being the animal lover that you are, I think you will enjoy Jane. I can understand you not wanting to watch the Jumanji remake. I will have to watch now the original to compare. I thought it was light hearted fun, but no one compares to Robin Williams, I give you that. 😀

      Delete
  4. I will have to see the Jane documentary -- is it on Netflix? That's right up my alley. I agree with your review of Only the Brave. I felt so terrible for the loss of those guys and that they went into that valley ugh. It crushed me. Good performances & tribute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t know if it’s on Netflix yet, but I rented it from Google Play. It is still available there. Yeah, that scene of the fire consuming the valley was brutal. I had hopes, though, just because it was a Hollywood movie.

      Delete
  5. I haven't seen any of these but I do fancy all of them tbh - great snapshots.
    Lynn :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lynn. I recommend all three wholeheartedly. I think you would enjoy them too. ;-)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Kindly leave your comments and suggestions.