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Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 Movie Reviews: including Mary Poppins Returns and Wreck It Ralph 2


I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break! I have eaten far too much chocolate and have pretty much become glued to my TV over this past week; Netflix have really stepped up to the mark!

But, amongst the awesome Bird Box and Bandersnatch releases which have literally sent the internet into meltdown, Disney have also been releasing some pretty cool material of late.

Some familiar faces return for Wreck It Ralph 2
Photo Credit: Disney

I decided that as the year is drawing to a close, now would be a good time to sit back and reflect on some of the awesome cinema that Disney has brought us this past year and of course, give you a brief summary of my thoughts on the movies that I have seen.

Let me know your favourite 2018 Disney releases in the comments section below!

Enjoy - M x

1. Avengers: Infinity War

The star studded cast in Infinity War made for a really exciting and captivating movie
Photo Credit: Disney

After the last Avengers movie came out, and Marvel released some other awesome films like Doctor Strange and Black Panther, it was safe to say that ahead of Infinity War's release, I was very, very excited. It's official. I have become a Marvel fan.

Infinity War was nothing short of EPIC. Honestly, this is perhaps one of the best movies released all year in my opinion, and I would highly recommend that everybody gives this film a shot - even if you're not into superhero movies or you're a little skeptical about Marvel, I really do recommend you give this one a shot. The action starts as soon as the movie begins and doesn't waver from then on in. I can't wait for the second half to debut next year. 

2: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Emilia Clarke makes her Star Wars debut as new character, Qi'ra
Photo Credit: Star Wars Screencaps

In addition to becoming a Marvel fan of late, I have also developed a new love of the Star Wars franchise. It's almost as though when Disney purchase companies, I suddenly develop interest in them... who knew! 

Moving on...

I was a little nervous ahead of seeing Solo for the first time; as the title suggests, the movie is a prequel to the original 1970s Star Wars movies and gives us a glimpse into the early life of our favourite smuggler, Han Solo. The role was (of course) created by Harrison Ford, and has never been played by another actor on screen until now.

I genuinely believe that Alden Ehrenreich did an amazing job in the role of Han Solo; I doubt that any other actor could have got it more spot on. With a supporting cast consisting of other incredibly famous actors including Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Donald Glover and Woody Harrelson, this movie gives us some really lovely moments and truly brilliant characters. Admittedly, the storyline is a little weak in places, but the incredible performances throughout more than make up for it.

3. Incredibles 2

Jack-Jack completely stole the show in Incredibles 2
Photo Credit: Animation Screencaps

This was the movie that I was particularly excited about - I went to the cinema with my Sister and Grumpy's younger sister in tow and was completely prepared to thoroughly laugh myself through the next few hours. I was not disappointed.

If you loved the original Incredibles movie, this will certainly not disappoint. The gags are funnier, the superheroes are campier and the animation is crisper and clean. This is the perfect family entertainment movie and will leave you not only feeling lighter but also, questioning some pretty major themes that are tackled in the movie, including gender equality, parenting roles and technology in the digital age. Huge thumbs up!

4. Ralph Breaks The Internet

Princesses Tiana and Aurora appear in Wreck It Ralph 2

Okay, perhaps I was wrong before - I think THIS was the movie that I was most looking forward to seeing all year! Ever since that big Princess reveal at the D23 Expo had us all on our toes, how could this not be the movie of the year?

To recap, it was announced at D23 that all of the original Disney Princess voice actors would be reprising their role in the movie; this is of course with the exception of Adriana Caselotti (Snow White) and Ilene Woods (Cinderella) who have both passed away since their Princesses debut, and Mary Costa (Princess Aurora) who, at the age of 88, simply doesn't sound like the sleeping Princess anymore!

Sadly in reality, whilst the Princess scenes were strong and the entire concept of the movie was powerful and very much of it's time, I was a little disappointed with Vanellope and Ralph's latest adventure. 

The movie was very good until about 30 minutes from the end. At this point, the plot just took a complete nosedive and began raising a lot of questions and creating a few loopholes along the way. 

And, as much as I loved those Princess scenes, pretty much all of the action had already been featured during the trailers, so whilst it was still funny and my favourite moment of the movie by far, none of the content was fresh to me which was disappointing.

I would still recommend this movie, on the Easter Eggs alone, Wreck It Ralph 2 is sure to be a hit with any Disney fan, but sadly the ending felt a little half baked.

5. Mary Poppins Returns

And finally, yesterday I visited the cinema with Grumpy's family to see a long awaited sequel to the very popular 1960s Disney Classic, Mary Poppins. I had pretty low expectations of this movie prior to entering the screen, thinking that the original could never be matched... but I was pleasantly surprised.

First of all, you have to take this movie with a pinch of salt; is it going to win any academy awards? Probably not BUT, is it a wonderful, feel-good family musical that pays homage to the classic in a whimsical and sensitive way? You betcha!

Emily Blunt's Mary is getting pretty positive reviews across the board although, I had kinda wished that she had played her a littler softer, to emulate Julie Andrews take on the character, rather than the serious, stern woman that we saw here on screen. I also found Mary's cockney song with Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) very confusing and out of character but overall, the movie was positive with a clear message, excellent score and some awesome performances.

Oh and if you were wondering, Dick Van Dyke really did steal the show.

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