Let's cut to the chase: not a whole lot of movies this time around -- although with Copa América going on (but closing this Saturday), watching movies took a bit of a back seat this time around. Nevertheless, let's discuss these new films.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', by Tadayoshi Yamamuro.
A sequel to the 2012 release, "Battle of Gods", this time around. Freeza, one of the main villains in the DB universe, is brought back to life and he's eager to exact revenge on Goku and his friends for his defeat and the time he spent in Hell. However, it's been quite a while since Goku fought him and Future Trunks conclusively killed him. Goku's grown way stronger thanks to his time spent training with Beerus & Whis... but so has Freeza on his way to Earth. They'll have a final bout for all the marbles, and that's about it.
If you were among the peeps who didn't like "Battle of Gods" because it was far too jokey and not fisticuffy enough, then they have you covered right here. It's nothing but a long-winded fight scene, much like the DBZ of yore. They fly great distances dodging ki blasts, they have tug-of-wars with Kame-Hame-Has, you name it. It still manages to be quite tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing, however, but action scenes are the main dish in this movie.
I'd still say this movie is leagues above everything from the old DBZ canon... but this movie's dwarfed by its predecessor. The screenplay, even for DBZ standarts, is pretty nonsense and flavorless. Freeza gets resurrected, somehow. Gets to Earth. Fights. And then the movie runs out of narrative gas halfway through -- there's nothing else to tell, the battle is done. It's a very uneventful one-sided match. And everything else not related to the main event gets swept under rug, as if it's desperate to keep things as focused on the fight as possible.
Check it out if you're hype for some new DBZ stuff. Otherwise, skippable. It's fun, I suppose... but it's so bland you don't miss much by dodging it.Tea Time, by Maite Alberdi.
A Chilean documentary spanning four-or-so years of tea time gatherings between old friends from way, way back. Ever since they got out of high school they've been periodically and religiously meeting for tea time; and the film starts in their 60th year doing so. On the following years they discuss matters such as the lives they've lived, mementos from their teenage years, the cultural clash between the old and the new, and the increasingly unavoidable notion that the group is dwindling, all with treats on the table so delicious looking it sometimes borders on food porn.
Here's the thing: the film's tagline is "Intimacies only told between friends"... but I never found this movie to be terribly intimate. They may be pretty old friends, but... there's something too courteous in a tea time setting to make the real stuff come out of them. There's one character who's more outspoken and lively than the rest and she's not afraid of discussing awkward, private... or even uncomfortable matters... but she's only one in a group of eight. They may be playing themselves, so I don't want to sound crass, but... this isn't a very fascinating film. Nothing groundbreaking is said here. But that's not a character problem. I think the biggest drawback in this movie is its framing device. When everything is told and shown through tea time meetings, you get a feeling you're always only viewing the tip of the iceberg of these people. Everything else remains hidden under layers of etiquette and civility. They won't pry into each other's personal affairs nor they won't drop a personal secret truth bomb. They're only meeting to have fun.
Anyways. It's alright. Not for me.Desastres Naturales, by Bernardo Quesney.
Another Chilean film (the original title means "Natural Disasters"). This one's a dark comedy about an old teacher bent on doing classes despite the fact she was recently let go. After meeting her new, far younger replacement, she'll take the senior year classroom hostage with the help of her former students, hoping to pressure the school director to properly hire her back. By themselves, it's probably not a big deal -- a party of seven people, maybe. But later that day there's going to be a children's theater play. The parents could very well arrive to the school and find out about this mess in the worst way imaginable if things aren't taken care of ASAP.
This film probably works better for the Chilean crowd than it could do for international viewers, as it's a film deeply rooted in our educational landscape. From ancient teachers desperate to cling on to their jobs to kids too eager to wreak havoc having heard Pink Floyd's "The Wall" once, this movie tackles every major actor and entitity involved in our messy, strike-ridden school system. However, and despite some noteworthy audiovisual signatures and devices, it's got quite little to say by itself. No major commentary or breakthrough revelation here. It's one stereotype fighting another; and even that proves to be a bit too hard to grip for the screenwriters themselves. Not only the movie's padded with lengthy sequences bereft of purpose, but it also fails to stick the landing. Its ending's not great.
However, hear me out: it's fun. It's got little to say, but it'll say it in fun, brash ways. The performances are rather good through out, showing the different shades of desperation through the ages, from a youth unable to fully convince her friends to join her movement, to a thirty-something frustrated with a situation known all too well, and so on. It's worth your time.Inside Out, by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen.
Ok, you must know this one, right? It tells the story of the five personified emotions of one thirteen year old named Riley Anderson. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. They all handle their own unique emotion so Riley feels them on their cue. Joy's all about having fun and keeping a peppy personality, Fear's about keeping risks and dangers in check so they can be avoided, Disgust is about personal interests and how they don't match with the present reality, and Anger's about keeping things fair and allowing certain aggressive releases happen. What about Sadness, though? Well... as Riley moves from her birthplace to San Francisco, leaving her old home and friends behind, she and her emotions will find out a little more about it in very dramatic ways.
This movie's perfect. Period. Pixar's best, by far. That's something HUGE to say, but it's that good. The same studio that brought us Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, and so many others, now have gone above and beyond yet again. They had a bit of a slump since the release of Toy Story 3 (I liked Monster University quite alright, but I have no need to sit through it again, personally); but... I'd belive they were "saving" themselves for this one. This movie is so profoundly great I can believe they weren't focusing as much on their previous films just as long as this one turned out to be great.
The way the editing interweaves the inner and outer story, so unrelated and visually separate, yet so wonderful in tandem, one acting as the cause, and the other's the consecuence. The visuals are simply Pixar's finest, as they finally let themselves go wild with their software and tools: it's their most uniquely designed film, and it's their best animated film, too. The way Joy moves and prances around is something to behold, honest to God. And the screenplay's... just perfect. Again, that word, but what else can I say? This movie finally goes the extra mile and does what Chris Nolan attempted with Inception and Michel Gondry tried with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: they tackled characters right from the deepest of their mind, but it's Inside Out the one that does everything elegantly palatable, taking a precise, full advantage of the visual medium without letting all go to its head. You won't get bored with technical mumbo jumbo, nor you won't see a story so dependant on visual tricks. It tells everything in deceivingly simple ways, letting you sink as much ideas and emotions as possible... and oh boy, are they all perfectly warranted here. Sadness, joy, fear, disgust, anger. It tackles each of them so brilliantly and lovingly.
Agh. This movie. So perfect.
That's it for now! See you next time