January 2021 Watches

So another goal I’ve set for myself, aside from reading, is movies. I am not a big movie watcher. I prefer TV since I like sticking with characters and ongoing stories (probably because I’m a big reader of series books). So I’ve set a goal to watch at least 52 new movies this year – one per week. I’ve got everything from Star Wars (I’ve only seen the original 3 and over 20 years ago) to documentaries to Disney films.

So for January, this is what I’ve watched:

I was never sure about new Disney digital animation until I saw Frozen and loved it. While I didn’t enjoy the animation in this as much, I really enjoyed the movie. I love the voice actress for Mother Gothel, the songs were great, and I’m a HUGE fan of humour in the modern Disney animated films. I get a lot more enjoyment out of them than the older stuff, where it relies on nostalgia for me now.

This is the animated version. I had never seen this one, as most of the Disney Renaissance films came out when I was an adult and I didn’t have much interest. I liked the story, and I appreciated how many Asian voice actors were involved. I found Chi Fu’s look as extremely stereotyped. But I think it’s my favourite of the Disney Renaissance outside of Beauty and the Beast.

I really wanted to like this, but knowing the story of Pocahontas in life versus this film, I feel like they got so much wrong it’s hard to like the film. I did appreciate that the Europeans were shown as coming specifically to kill the Indians and take the land. They didn’t mince words much with that. Overall I just didn’t really feel much of anything for this film.

The Lion King
I think I get the most flack for never having seen the Lion King. I enjoyed this one, I really saw why it was so popular when it was released and why kids loved it. I enjoyed it, but my favourite parts were all the early scenes with the cubs.

This is a documentary about a step group at a Baltimore school for girls where the goal is to have every girl graduate and attend college. We follow three of the teammates through their senior year with the team, their home lives and the outcome of their high school careers. I enjoyed this a lot, mostly because the stepping was highly entertaining. I found myself completely into the college application process – here I had to do everything on my own with no counselor, so I found the focus here really cool. Overall I enjoyed it, but don’t go in thinking it’s a documentary about stepping specifically, because it’s more about the girls.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2
I had seen all of the previous ones, but for some reason, stopped and never finished. I do this a lot with series, it’s weird. Anyway, I spent the weekend rewatching the other movies to prime me for this. I was a bit underwhelmed. I think in general Hunger Games was good, but Katniss is such an internal character you lose a lot with an expository format like film.

Another series where I hadn’t seen all the available films. I’d see DIvergent, but not the rest. Knowing the series never finished probably impacted my decision. I honestly remembered nothing from the books after Divergent so I have no idea if the film followed them or not. I wasn’t very interested in it.

The Princess and the Frog
I was really eager to see this and luckily it came back on Disney+. I really liked seeing more hand drawn animation (although I’ve enjoyed the digital stuff more than I thought I would). I really loved the New Orleans setting and vibe and I can’t wait for them to re-imagine Splash Mountain with this film. Splash is right next door to the Haunted Mansion and New Orleans Square so it’ll be a perfect match. I really enjoyed the voice acting, the songs.  I remember how many little black girls were dressed as Tiana the last time I was at Disneyland–Tiana makes a huge impact on little girls who want a princess who looks like them.

Charlie’s Angels (2019)
I had this on my watch list for Jonathan Tucker, who I’m not sure utters a word in this film. I watched the 70s show, never saw the reboot, but I appreciate that this film continues on in a way that doesn’t erase any of the previous iterations and actually builds on it. I haven’t really seen Kristen Stewart in anything before and I felt that she really stood out. I enjoyed Banks’ direction. The plot was a bit meh, but I find for a lot of campy genre films that’s standard.

9/52 completed

Only two of the films I watched were directed by women (Step and Charlie’s Angels).

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