This Week in Cinema: November 09-15, 2014

feast

My dogs can relate, very much in fact!

A trio of movies this week, I’m as shocked as you are,

Feast (2014, Patrick Osborne, United States of America) ****

Simplicity done to near perfection. Warm animated colors and an easy to digest palate of colors welcome the viewer into this tale that is as deep as it is visually sumptuous. For all its visual splendor, the humor and heart at the core of the story is what makes this a great short film. Winston is a lovable scrap, and his journey is easy to relate to. The need for home, for family (however one chooses to define it) and companionship are all lovingly touched upon by a well written script. Said script also utilizes food for comedy and as a self-referential item to look at the importance of food in our lives. An animated short that knocks it out of the park, and lives up to its title in the best of ways.

Big Hero 6 (2014, Don Hall & Chris Williams, United States of America) ***

The more I think about Big Hero 6 the less high I am on this superhero love poem. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to love about this animated feature. The issue I have with Big Hero 6 is that it’s a film that tries to cram too much into its run time. It wants to be both an origin story and a madcap action piece. Don Hall & Chris Williams push both arenas very hard and as a result the film feels overstuffed. The key moments hit home, and when it needs to be Big Hero 6 is a joy to watch. The base from which the key moments spring is too bogged down though, and that’s where the film suffers the most.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013, Francis Lawrence, United States of America) **1/2

Better than the first entry, but still a highly flawed film. The issue that still persists is that Francis Lawrence, and everyone involved really, expects the audience to have read the books. They gloss over so many tidbits and useful info that I was left bewildered at times. The characters outside of Katniss and Peeta remain shallowly drawn, as again the filmmaker expects the audience to fill in the gaps of these characters from the books. I get why people love these moves, I really do, but I can’t forgive how empty The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ends up being and how dependent it is on the viewer being familiar with the books.

Wrap-Up:

Though many will disagree, there’s really not much of a contest this week. Feast easily takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!

Cheers,
Bill Thompson

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