Sunday, December 23, 2018

Smallfoot- Movie Review

There are a few slight spoilers in this review.
Smallfoot (c) 2018 directed by Karey Kirkpatrick etc.

Smallfoot was a fun movie for both kids and adults, and which I enjoyed. I feel I should say that some people might see it as an attack on religion, because of the many false beliefs that the Yetis hold onto, including the belief that "Smallfeet" don't exist, which we "smallfeet" know to be not true. I can understand why some people would see it that way, but I don't. I see the underlying message as being that it's okay to find things out; that real truth isn't something to fear; that learning facts about the world around us is not just okay, it's great. In other words, curiosity didn't kill the cat, curiosity educated the cat! A person can know all sorts of facts and truths about the universe and the world and still believe in God, and understand that having and living a moral code (even when it's hard and others are pressuring us not to follow our consciences) leads to positive consequences.

The yetis, in particular Mego and his gang of friends, were fun, and the way he developed his friendship with the main human character Percy despite their language barrier was funny and entertaining.

I liked that Percy had a change of and heart, and learned the value of friendship and integrity, even when it made him look bad to others.

The movie is rated PG for a few scenes of mild peril.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Performed by Patrick Stewart, Audiobook Review

Christmas Carol (c) 2006
performed by Patrick Stewart
The audiobook, Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, performed by Patrick Stewart, is a wonderful rendering of the book!

The original text is not read word for word, but what is left out is mostly the purple prose, and other wordy, reduntant stuff that Dickens and other Victorian authors were fond adding into their stories. The meat of the original story is still there, and Dickens' rich, descriptive word choice is also still there.

Patrick Stewart does a wonderful job bringing the story to life, and adding voice, depth and personality to the several characters of the story. This is an audiobook that I highly recommend! It was published by Simon and Shuster Audio in 2006.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christopher Robin- Movie Review

Christopher Robin (c) 2018 by Marc Forster
Christopher Robin, directed by Marc Forster, starring Ewan McGregorHayley Atwell, and Bronte Carmichael, and produced by Disney, is a fun, family movie about the adventures of a grown-up Christopher Robin with Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and the rest of the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Having married, survived the horrors of the Great War, and become a father, Christopher Robin is working at Winslow Enterprises, a company that makes suitcases, to support his family. He has lost his imagination, and is more often than not, working hard to impress his ungrateful supervisor, which takes time away from his family.

After having been order by his supervisor to work all weekend to find a way to cut costs, or cut employees, Christopher Robin doesn't know what to do. This unexpected assignment has taken him away from a trip to the country he had planned with his wife and daughter, and the two have to go without him. Feeling bad about the situation, he's sitting on a bench in a small park, when he hears a familiar voice. Who could it be, but Winnie-the-Pooh, come from the Hundred Acre Wood, looking for him! Thus begins an adventure with Christopher Robin and his Hundred Acre Wood family, and which eventually involves his wife and daughter, as well!

But what is the group going to do about that annoying supervisor who wants nothing more than to fire Christopher Robin, and his whole department? Watch this great family movie to find out!

The movie is rated PG for a few scenes of mild angst, and in my opinion, is appropriate for the whole family! Ewan McGregor and the rest of the cast do a great job, and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dragonwatch Book 1 by Brandon Mull

Dragonwatch book 1 (c) 2017
by Brandon Mull
The first Dragonwatch book by Brandon Mull is an exciting continuation of the adventures of siblings Kendra and Seth, who began their adventures in the first book of the FableHaven series. In this story, Kendra is 15, and Seth is 13. This time, the two siblings and their grandparents are dealing with some recalcitrant dragons at a dragon reserve called Wyrmroost. (I'm guessing the spelling, because I listened to the audiobook.) Celebrant, the dragon king and his fellow dragons are tired of being kept in the reserve where they were put by humans because they'd been a danger to the humans in the past (burning, looting, etc.)  The dragons claim that they should have the right to roam free. But the people who are in charge of the reserves, of course, disagree.

I find this story interesting, because unlike many books where the antagonist doesn't have a clear motive for what he does, I can actually see the dragons' point of view. The situation reminded me of incoming Europeans confining Native Americans to reservations. Though the motives are different, and so are the species. It isn't a matter of cultures clashing, or me being greedy for someone else's land. It's about me not getting eaten by something one hundred times bigger than myself. It's about raw survival. So I see the real necessity of keeping dragons away from humans; because from the destruction that dragons can do, I, as a tiny, chewy human, don't want them roaming free. Neither do Kendra, Seth, their grandparents, and others. But Celebrant doesn't like to be confined. While I can see the point of view of the dragons as a group, I really don't like Celebrant. He's a plain all around jerk. I am certain that with his character, he would be a jerk in the best of situations. He's the kind of guy who is looking for a reason to be mad, and if he didn't have the excuse of complaining about being confined to a dragon reserve, he'd find something else to be mad about. I don't see him as a noble but wronged leader, like Sitting Bull, or Crazy Horse. He's just a bad leader all around, and his fellow dragons would be better off picking someone who  wasn't as inherently mean-spirited, and was better at negotiating. He belongs in dragon prison, not leading other dragons.

The book, like Brandon Mull's other books, is very well written, and the characters believable and multi-faceted. I highly recommend it to young readers of fantasy, and to adults as well. It's the kind of book that that can be read and enjoyed by more than just its target audience. And I look forward to the other books in the series!