Raya and the Last Dragon - Review by AMCAlmaron, journal
Raya and the Last Dragon - Review
Before I begin, I gotta ask something; has anybody come up with a trope name for films where characters spend a good chunk of the film quipping their way through serious situations? I'm not meaning the odd joke here and there to lighten the mood, I'm meaning where everybody acts like a Joss Whedon character poking fun at the setting and the immersion is broken or the tone of the film suffers because everything has to be silly? I know there's "Bathos" and "Casual Danger Dialogue", but I'm not sure that's enough. Feels like a LOT of movies have been embracing this approach in the last few years, and I absolutely HATE it. It feels like the 'Dreamworks Face' came to life and every studio went "YES WE NEED ONE OF THOSE!" in the same way they all rushed to copy the Minions after Despicable Me's success.
Anyhoo, Raya and the Last Dragon suffers a bit from this problem (as well as an overabundance of 'modern comedy' jokes that don't land), but that's not the biggest issue with the film.
So...hmm, where to start? I often struggle when it comes to making ranking lists; they start out well, but it doesn't take long before I get to a spot where I can't decide which of two options is better than the other. I had that same problem with the Assassin's Creed games, but I managed to get past that by instead sorting the films into groups, and then ranking those...and after watching a video about Pixar film rankings and getting a bit miffed at certain placements, I decided I wanted to make my own!
A short trip to Tiermaker.com later, I ended up with the following;
*MASTERPIECES - Coco, Toy Story 2 and Wall-E.
*PIXAR'S STANDARD - Inside Out, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3 and The Incredibles.
*NOT AMAZING, BUT NOT AWFUL - Onward, Monsters University, Toy Story 4, Cars 3, Cars and Toy Story.
*MORE FLAWED THAN FUN - Up, A Bug's Life, Ratatouille, Brave, The Good Dinosaur and Cars 2.
*HAVEN'T SEEN THEM - Finding Dory, Incredibles II and Soul.
...and now, to elaborate on
Hoo boy, it's been a while since I've done one of these (which is more or less what I said last time)! Last night I ended up going out to the movies with Dylan and Catherine as a part of our routine of 'do something as a group at least once per week', and due to a clash of work schedules Dylan resorted to booking us tickets to 'Boss Level', which we all thought was going to be something like that 'Free Guy' film that's coming out in a few months (you know, the one where Ryan Reynolds realises he's a character in a video game) because of the title and the deliberately retro-looking font used on the poster, as well as the ludicrous elements seen in the adverts? In the end...well, lemme put it this way. Not only were we facepalming, cringing and snarking our way through the film, but about ten minutes in Dylan leaned over to me and said "...I'm sorry." This film was truly atrocious...and before I continue, let me list two incredibly bizarre quotes that I will list here completely out of
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee! :la: :la: :la:
So, a bit of backstory; I've been playing a Hearts of Iron IV mod called "Kaiserreich" for quite some time now, which, if you've not heard about it, is an alternate history scenario exploring a timeline where Germany won the First World War and focusing on the events leading up to their version of the Second World War, which here is a conflict between the German Empire and its allies and the 'Syndicalist' states of Britain and France, with a revanchist Russia and the non-Syndicalist governments-in-exile of Britain and France also getting involved to reclaim lost territories. It's great fun, and also hugely educational because in a lot of cases it focuses on historic figures and ideas that didn't take off in our timeline...for instance, here, Lenin got shot and the Russian Revolution failed, so Syndicalism (a sort of compromise between Capitalism and Communism) became the dominant
I could have sworn I'd written something about this already...if not on DA, then maybe in a private FB conversation or as a part of an unrelated thread on Reddit. Guess I'll have to start afresh...:) :)
So, let's talk about the "Wizarding World" film franchise, which at present consists of the two "Fantastic Beasts" films. Back when this series was first announced and an adaptation of "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" was said to be on the way, articles like this one - https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/jk-rowling-s-quidditch-through-ages-earmarked-next-harry-potter-spin-film-8849021.html - speculated that the next film after that would be based off "Quidditch Through The Ages"; both books having been written and released together as Pottermania was kicking off. At the time, I thought this a strange choice, wondering how on earth they'd be able to make movies out of these sorts of things, and in the end, "Fantastic Beasts" ended up being an entirely