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Details I Noticed in “The South Park Movie” (1999)

I’ve been a fan of “South Park” for years. I also watched the movie in recent times and I enjoyed it. Obviously, I didn’t see it in theatres since I was only 5 when it came out.

But when I re-watch movies, I pick up on more and more details, including those in “The South Park Movie”. So, here are the things I noticed.

1: The main characters’ dads don’t really play big roles

The moms are more involved with their goals. But the fathers are minor characters who don’t express much. In fact, they don’t get any spoken lines.

2: The dads apparently didn’t have to cut their hair when they joined the army

In real life, soldiers have to wear their hair above their ears. And it’s for safety. Although the intended audience is adults, I found it odd that the main characters’ fathers got to keep their hair as was when in the military.

3: The extras aren’t consistent

This was especially noticeable in the musical numbers, “It’s Easy, M’kay” and “La Resistance”. Different children come and go.

4: Mr. Mackey’s Chalkboards act like they’re Magical

When Mr. Mackey gives cleaner alternatives for the words the kids have been saying, he points to one chalkboard after the other. But the words just appear there without anyone writing or erasing them. Unless magic exists in “South Park”, this is a bit sloppy.

5: The children get into the “Terrence and Philip Movie” without supervision

When the four main characters try to buy tickets for the film, they’re denied them since it’s rated R. So, they pay a homeless man to purchase their tickets for them. However, after the song, “It’s Easy, M’kay”, they all somehow got into the room where the “Terrence and Philip Movie” played, without any adult supervision. That’s what I call a plot hole or inconsistency.

So, there you have it.

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A “Cinderella” Critique is a List Your Brain Makes…When You’re Evaluating the 1950 Film

Warning: contains spoilers***

I haven’t watched the whole version of this Disney classic in years. I’ve watched it regularly as a small child. But now that I’m an adult, I can understand and pick up on stories and their elements more easily.

We all know the story. A young maiden is a servant to her mean stepfamily, and then she gets an opportunity to go to the ball hosted by the royals.

Okay, onto the critique. First, the strengths:

1: Cinderella’s character

Although she’s abused, Cinderella remains gentle and likable. Her stepsisters scream for her to serve them and she remains calm. Although I found that a bit unbelievable, there were times she sounded a little annoyed, which made her more realistic.

2: The “Sweet Nightingale” Number and it’s humor

Of course, all the songs in “Cinderella” are good. But this one was kind of humorous. The stepsister, I think Drizzella, sounded not-so-great when singing this song (which seems kind of unimportant, but I could be wrong). Meanwhile, Cinderella’s voice was beautiful when she sang it, even though she was cleaning.

3: The fact that Cinderella has loyal companions

Yes, they’re all animals, with the exceptions of the fairy godmother and prince later on. But at least the mice, dog, chickens, and horse show sympathy and respect for Cinderella. Gus was funny when he tried to advocate for Cinderella loudly and Jacque had to quiet him.

After the stepsisters destroyed Cinderella’s dress and made her cry, it was so sweet how the fairy godmother came to comfort her and ensure she gets to the ball.

Speaking of which…

1: There are some deus ex machina moments

Unfortunately, that includes the fairy godmother moment. While it’s great that she was there to help Cinderella, her actions felt too convenient for the plot, especially when she turned her mice into horses, and the other animals into people. And they seemed to function perfectly.

All right, there probably wasn’t a lot of time to explain the magic laws and how turning animals into humans would be no problem. Still.

2: Cinderella’s lips changed tones

This was probably an animation error. I’m also likely one of the few to notice this inconsistency. Sometimes, Cinderella’s lips were muted magenta, and other times, they were light red.

3: Lucifer’s character

Obviously, every story needs conflict and an antagonist. But with Lucifer, I feel his scary appearance and actions went too far. Okay, okay, this was released in 1950 and likely produced in the late 1940’s. But for today, I thought Lucifer was too pure evil in not only his looks and actions, but also his name (the meaning and where it originated from).

While it was nice reuniting with this movie, I will admit it wasn’t super-engaging either. Because of that, I would rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

However, I don’t think it’s discouraging. There are a good number of strengths and nice moments, too, aside from what I mentioned.

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Welcome to My Critique of “Bambi” (1942)

Warning: contains spoilers***

I saw this movie at a friend’s house. A fawn grows, makes friends, and even goes through challenges along the way.

Here are the parts of “Bambi” that I admired and those that I felt could’ve been better.

First the strengths:

1: The animation and artistic layout

I find it very unfortunate that Disney stopped doing 2D animated films as did pretty much all movie companies. So, seeing the beautifully illustrated backgrounds as well as the animation of the characters drew me in emotionally.

2: The morals

The lessons that are communicated throughout this movie apply to real life etiquette. I especially love Thumper’s quoting of his father after he criticizes Bambi’s walking abilities. He says, “If you can’t say something nice…don’t say nothing at all.” I’ve heard kids being told that many times, although the wording they received was, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” If only more people took this seriously, though.

3: The characters’ relations to one another

Bambi’s bond with his mother, as well as his friends, Thumper, Flower, and eventual love interest, Faline, were beautiful. The portrayals and importance of friendships, family, and more mattered to me.

That being said…

1: Why doesn’t Bambi’s father play more of a role in his life?

Could it be that deer dads don’t get to know their young like the mothers do? Disney animals are shown to be very scientifically inaccurate all the time. So, while times Bambi and his mom together were sweet, I found it unsatisfying that his father hadn’t been involved in his life until his mother died. We also don’t get to see Bambi learning to grow and change after losing his mom in this film. There is a sequel where it might be more emphasized. However, a characters’ evolution after a tragic event should happen in the same story, not in a later one. After his mother’s death, the scene transitions to when Bambi is an adult and reuniting with his friends, as happy as they can be.

2: What is Bambi’s goal exactly?

Unlike other movies, Bambi’s goal isn’t made clear enough. What does he really want? What was he working toward?

While his development from birth is essential, I couldn’t see what he had an eager desire for. Take other Disney films, like “The Lion King”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, and “Hercules”, where they start when the main characters were babies. Simba, Quasimodo, and Hercules still all had goals they worked toward and did everything they could to achieve them. And they were made obvious to the audience.

Therefore, it kind of disappointed me that Bambi’s ambitions didn’t feel clear.

3: Structure being too similar to “The Lion King”

Well, technically, it’s the other way around. “Bambi” came out decades before “The Lion King”. It’s also common for Disney to recycle animation movements. But the plotlines of both films mirrored a little too much.

And onto the part I’m kind of unsure about

Bambi and his friends finding love interests

I get that this was made in the 1940’s, when standards were different. And Bambi’s romance with Faline does become crucial, even if Bambi, sadly, didn’t join Faline after she gave birth to two fawns. But why did Thumper and Flower need to fall in love? Satisfaction? I do, however, admire the rabbit Thumper develops feelings for. She reminded me of Snow White.

While I found “Bambi” to be a beautiful experience, I felt it could’ve done better with a few more literary elements. So, I would rate the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Have You Noticed These Unique (and Kind-of Strange) Details in Disney Movies?

Who doesn’t love Disney? Many of us grew up with Disney classics whether they were older like “The Little Mermaid” or more recent, like “Frozen”. While I absolutely adore and enjoy Disney films, there are some details that have stood out to me in recent years. And I am not exactly pleased by them.

1: Good looks on human characters rarely exist after age 30

Many Disney protagonists are young, often ranging from younger child to teen to young adult. Since the turn of the century, however, there have been more adult main characters older than teens. I’m assuming Carl from “Up” is the oldest Disney protagonist to date. He’s in his 70’s.

Anyway, as I look at the secondary characters, as well as the villains, who are either supposed to be (or are possibly) over 30, I notice that many of them lack the attractive looks that the characters in their 20’s or younger possess. There are exceptions of younger characters who aren’t as handsome or beautiful, but a lot of adult Disney characters have large or long noses and are too skinny or heavy. Very few are as good-looking as the young people.

Um…hello? People can be as good-looking as late as their 50’s, 60’s, or even 70’s. Some mature TV shows, such as “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” are better at acknowledging this fact. Believe it or not, both Flanders and Quagmire are in their sixties. But they look incredibly youthful and good for their ages.

It’s not just in Disney’s 2D-animated movies where this happens. I looked at the extras in “Frozen” and saw this same detail there too.

2: Males often have drastically bigger hands and feet than females

Regardless of age, males’ hands and feet in Disney movies are often very big and wide, while females often have much smaller and thinner hands and feet. In fact, there are times where the males’ hands are so big that they could injure the females’ tinier and skinnier hands. The only exception I notice where this detail is absent is in “Tarzan”, when Tarzan and Jane place each other’s hands together. The sizes are similar, but it was for plot convenience. Since noticing this detail, I’ve always wondered if this promoted male superiority. Hopefully, not.

3: Non-verbal animals understand human language way too easily

While Disney is known for talking-animals (although it’s rare that they speak to people), when the animals make the same sounds as their real types do, they understand words much too easily. This was especially strange in “Pinocchio”, when he and Jiminy Cricket are asking the sea creatures about the dangerous whale, and underwater. That went a little too far with believability and setting examples for children. Kids, don’t try this in real life.

Anyway, to an adult, this looks too bizarre. In real life, animals can only understand tone. Even highly intelligent animals, such as dogs, don’t understand English. Parrots may mimic words, but their brains aren’t going to process language the same way humans do.

So, there you have it. Are there any unique details you notice in Disney films?

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Lights…Camera…Action…and Ratings

In the film industry, there are 5 ratings: G – all ages admitted, PG – parental guidance suggested, PG-13 – Parents strongly cautioned for children under 13, R – Restricted and anyone under 17 needs to be accompanied by an adult, and lastly, NC-17, where no one under 18 is admitted, whatsoever.

Back in the day, the ratings were different. For instance, PG-13 didn’t exist until 1984. So, many mature movies before were rated PG. Nowadays, PG is pretty much the same as G. Most family-friendly movies are rated PG. In fact, when I was little, I thought PG meant it was for all ages.

Some people, however, still see PG as inappropriate and only allow their children to watch movies that are rated G. In fact, back in the 00’s, my youngest brother’s 1st grade class was only allowed to watch G-rated movies. PG was forbidden, including those geared toward kids, such as “Shrek 2”. Seriously—they couldn’t watch “Shrek 2” because it was rated PG. Crazy, huh? My dad actually supported the teacher restricting to just G. Yeah, back in the 70’s, it would’ve made sense as PG-rated movies then were usually for adults, such as “Jaws” or “Airplanes”. I would understand not allowing little kids to watch PG-rated films when it comes to those like “Jaws”. But “Shrek 2”? That’s ridiculous. That’s like not allowing kids to feed themselves or wash their hands by themselves.

Anyway, while PG doesn’t really mean anything these days, I want to focus on the other ratings, too. G is not as common these days. One movie I feel is too dark to be rated G is “Muppets Treasure Island”. At nine years old, I was a bit scared at times when watching that film. PG probably would’ve been more appropriate.

Anyway, fewer movies these days are rated G. NC-17 seems to be the least common rating and is usually used for the most extreme. However, it can also be if there are at least 400 curse words. That was the case with 1999’s “South Park Movie”. It was originally going to be NC-17 due to a ton of fowl language. In fact, only one swear word was removed so that it could be rated R instead. Honestly, there are plenty of dirty words that could’ve been removed from that film. But not enough to lower the rating to PG-13.

Anyway, I am glad that the rating for “South Park Movie” was lowered to R. To me, the film is waayy to mild for the NC-17 rating. There are PG-13 movies scarier and more intense than that. Also, many “South Park” fans are underage, so it would’ve been unfair to them had they stuck with rating it NC-17.

Sometimes, PG-13-rated movies are so scary or intense, their ratings are raised to R. There was talk for raising the PG-13 rating to R for “The Hobbit: Part 3” film due to a ton of battle violence.

So, those are my thoughts on film ratings. There’s also a video on YouTube called “Does PG Really Mean Anything” that you can search for. I’m not the only person who noticed certain details and movies and their ratings.

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What I Look for in Movies

Image from Pixabay

Who doesn’t love movies? I don’t know about you, but I always have. There were also times where I didn’t know what I was watching. This was mostly when I was little.

I just saw scenes and enjoyed the characters. But did not know the plot. When I was an older child, I started understanding the storylines of movies. When I studied creative writing, I started pointing out plot points (inciting incident, call-to-action, midpoint, falling action, and resolution).

Many adults will understand sarcastic or dry humor. Unfortunately, I don’t, although I do get the inappropriate stuff, even when it’s snuck into G and PG-rated movies. People may also point out hidden symbolisms.

What I do, though, is not only identify the plot points as well as the main conflict and other literary elements, but I also point out these two unique things:

1: Moments that would get you arrested in real life

Have you seen “Toy Story 2” or “Night at the Museum 3” or even watched “Ned’s Declassified: School Survival Guide” on TV? If not, I would not suggest reading forward—unless you are uninterested in watching them.

So here it is. Remember in “Night at the Museum 3”, when Lancelot went crazy and ran on stage during a live performance of “Camelot”? Rather than calling security and having Lancelot arrested, the guy playing Arthur just explained to him that he was just an actor and held the play as he calmly told Lancelot to get off the stage. However, if you run on stage during a live-performance in real life, you would get arrested. Forget about yelling at the actors and threatening to hurt them, like Lancelot did. You could run on stage, stand there, and say nothing and still get arrested. Just the action itself is illegal.

In “Toy Story 2”, Al steals Woody from the garage sale Andy’s mom holds. He gets away with it. Andy’s mom doesn’t bother to call the police. However, in real life, not only would Al have been arrested for stealing, but so would have Andy’s mother for failing to report a crime she’d witnessed. But if that happened, Andy and Molly would’ve been taken away by CPS and the ending would’ve been too sad. Therefore, “Toy Story 3” may never have been made as audiences would have complained about the ending to “Toy Story 2”.

In an episode of “Ned’s Declassified”, where students were having the fifth graders tour the middle school, there was a scene when one of them (not in sight) that removed Seth’s clothes. He was naked while using a plush elephant to cover himself. Everybody else laughed. A younger kid may have done the same. A parent may have stated that it was inappropriate and turned off the TV. I, as an older sibling, reacted by saying, “You’d get arrested for that in real life.” Yup, even as young as 17, I was pointing out things that would get you arrested in real life.

Because of having to learn about the importance of believability in prose writing, I have developed expectations too high for movies and TV shows. I now find it strange when characters in movies do things that real people would get arrested for, but the characters don’t. So many illegal activities happened constantly in the movies “Monster Truck” and “Dumb and Dumber Too”, but the characters didn’t get arrested because of plot movements or conveniences.

While many say “It’s just a movie”, that can also be an issue. Someone who doesn’t know better may imitate those actions and get surprised when they get arrested because the characters in the film didn’t get arrested. Then someone could try to sue the film company.

If the characters can’t get arrested for plot reasons, couldn’t there, at least, be a disclaimer in the end credits, warning audiences not to try those activities or else they’ll get arrested?

2: Things that would not be acceptable today

There are so many of these. I could not state them in one post. However, I will give a few examples of movies that I don’t think would come out today.

  • “A Christmas Story”

If you’ve seen this film, the kid, Ralphie, wants a bb gun for Christmas. Obviously, in the 80’s, that was acceptable. However, today, after so much gun violence, especially in the US, I do not believe this would be acceptable today. No way would a child with a bb gun be appropriate.

  • “Pinocchio”

Although rated G, there is smoking, drinking, and the use of a dirty word, which I will not specify. Smoking wasn’t always inappropriate, especially when people were unaware of the dangers before the 60’s. They thought smoking was cool. And “Pinocchio” was released in 1940. That was at least 20 years before smoking-dangers were discovered. And even then, people were resistant to the studies. I saw in a video that it was not until the 90’s when smoking became inappropriate for young audiences. I don’t think “Pinocchio” would be released today.

  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Just this past holiday season, this movie got tons of criticism for it being offensive, promoting prejudice and discrimination, and more. I was confused, so I watched the film. And I could see why people complained. When Rudolph’s nose cover came off, revealing his red nose, the other reindeer freaked out. Even Santa took their side (“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Santa said to Rudolph’s dad). The elf boss gave Hermey a hard time about being a dentist and not wanting to make toys. “You’re an elf, and elves make toys!” the boss said. Umm… that’s elfist. Another scene is where Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius arrived on the land of misfit toys. There is a Jack-in-the-box whose name is actually Charlie. He complained that no kid would want to play with a Charlie-in-the-box (that’s namist). Sensitivity is growing for some reason. So I could never see “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” being released today.

So that is really it for what I look for in movies. I apologize if I seem overcritical at times. But thanks for reading.