FILMS: What We Watched #19

There hasn't been a film review post on here in such a long time. Before we lived together, our weekends would consist of watching films, but when we moved those movie nights often got replaced with a TV series or YouTube. We'd watch the odd movie here and there and these posts kind of got forgotten about. But they're back for a little while because we have being watching a lot, and I mean a lot of films. Having 6 weeks off means we've had time to go through the list of films we want to see and find some other ones too. So we're back with our mini film reviews and we're kicking things off with 2 kids films, a horror and a fantasy. Enjoy!

The Invitation
2015 | 100 min | Horror / Thriller
The tension is palpable when Will shows up to his ex-wife Eden and new husband, David's dinner party. The pair's tragic past haunts an equally spooky present. Amid Eden's suspicious behaviour and her mysterious house guests, Will becomes convinced that his invitation was extended with a hidden agenda. Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation blurs layers of mounting paranoia, mystery, and horror until both Will-and the audience-are unsure what threats are real or imagined. [From Rotten Tomatoes]

J: I love weird movies, and this one turned out to be a mind-bender of a psychological thriller. To the point where you feel almost as confused and disorientated about things as the main character Will is. Yu start off thinking you'll be able to keep a handle on things and keep track of what's what and who's who, but before you know it there you are shouting at cats, joining a cult claiming you invented the question mark. Fantastic!

L: We love a good horror film, but they seem to be so hard to come by so we're often looking for recommendations and reviews. I think Josh came across this one and the premise sounding interesting so we gave it a go. This is definitely more in the thriller genre than anything but it's a pretty solid watch. Your never quite sure up until the end whether the events unfolding are actually happening or not. Will, the main character has a lot of issues which makes him a pretty unreliable narrator. It's cleverly played out and keeps you constantly guessing and even though pretty much the entire movie is set in one house it doesn't get stale. It gets a big thumbs up from me.

Lilo and Stitch
2002 | 85 | Animation / Sci-Fi / Comedy
A Hawaiian girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive from the law. Edgier than traditional Disney fare, Lilo and Stitch explores issues of family while providing a fun and charming story. [From Rotten Tomatoes]

J: This movie has only been out for 15 YEARS! 15 of 'em! That means it came out when I was...*wait, I'm mathsing*...13! So how have I not seen it before?! It's not ground breaking or anything like that, but it's still great. Cartoon fun with a weirdly cool alien! Alright, to be fair it does have a nice undertone of family and how you don't have to be 'family' to be family (if that makes sense), so it's nice to be able to watch it as an adult and enjoy both perspectives!

L: As a huge Disney fan I can't believe I've only just got around to watching Lilo and Stitch. Better 15 years late then never! I absolutely loved this film and I've completely fallen in love with Stitch (I need all the Stitch merch when we go to Disney World next year). I always find that watching Disney films or kids films in general as an adult is more thought provoking and this film definitely has a hard hitting plot about family but it beautifully plays on the Hawaiian concept of 'Ohana' or extended family. Big points to Disney for tackling a tough subject, creating a film the portrays Hawaiian culture and making what is probably now one of my favourite Disney characters.

Wreck-It Ralph
2012 | 101 min | Animation / Fantasy / Comedy
Ralph  is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero. [From Rotten Tomatoes]

J: Just going to come out and say it, I love the movie Wreck It Ralph! It's for kids, but it's for adults, but it's for gamers, but it's for retro's for everyone. The humor is spot on; pretty silly and with with multi-layered jokes, it parodies some absolute classic characters. And I love the different animation styles of the characters, from the 16-bit jumpy, blocky old-school characters to the smooth and flowing HD modern characters. Love it. Go watch it!

L: I can't believe we haven't reviewed Wreck-It Ralph on here before as we've seen it a couple of times now. The premise of arcade game characters coming to life when the arcade is closed is a great one and I love the combination of retro and new in this film. The animation is really good too for each different game. It's pretty Disneyfied in that you're actually rooting for Ralph for the most part even though he's the bad guy of his game. Is it the best Disney film? No, but it's a pretty great one and a film I don't mind watching again.

2009 | 161 min | Sci-Fi
 "Avatar" is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. [From Rotten Tomatoes]

J: Boring. Overly long and convoluted. Next. (Though I will admit that the CGI was great!)

L: The main reason we watched Avatar is because Disney World have just opened the world of Pandora so we wanted some knowledge of the film before we go next year. We'd also heard it was a really good film. Basically my opinion on this film is, I wasted 3 hours of my life. It's way too long, like I don't mind watching really long films if they're worth it. This isn't. There's so so much that could've been cut out and the story would have still flowed. Visually I can't fault the film in the slightest and maybe that's why it got such rave reviews, the world created in the film is beautiful. But story wise it's weak and not worthy of the high praise it received. I'm glad I watched it so Pandora has more meaning to me but I won't be watching it again.

If you only watch one of these films it should be...
J: Wreck It Ralph
L: Lilo and Stitch

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