Friday, July 1, 2022

Film reviews - "Lightyear" and "The Sea Beast"

I've been able to see a couple of films recently, despite my busy deadline schedule.  Both of these films were preview screenings, in order to get some buzz going - so, I took my son, Lucas, with me, and we got free soda and popcorn!

The first film was "Lightyear", from Pixar/Disney, directed by Angus MacLane.  It's the back-story for Buzz Lightyear (from "Toy Story") and his adventures as a young space commander.  It measured up to Pixar's beautiful visual standards - but the film took place over many years, and for me, that took away a lot of the potential in-the-moment excitement. 

The only character I really loved was the cat robot - he was kind of a synthesis of R2D2 and C3P0.  In a film without much humor, he added a lot of laughs, which I appreciated. 

But my big problem with the film was at the end, it got very confusing as to what was going on, there were so many rules and characters that my brain kind of shut down and I just watched the visuals - which were very nice. 

I give "Lightyear" a B-minus.

The next film I watched with my son - to get a little children's perspective - was "The Sea Beast", directed by Chris Williams ("Moana", "Big Hero 6", "Bolt).  Immediately at the beginning of this film, I could feel that this was something very different from your usual Pixar/Marvel-type movie. 

The visuals are exquisite.  I saw elements of Herman Melville and N.C. Wyeth, and characters straight out of an Errol Flynn film from the 1930's and I was hooked.  The action and battle sequences were fantastic - and the point of the film was very meaningful.  I'm sorry, I'm going to give away the ending - but the monster is really a hero and everybody sings "Kumbaya" at the end.  

The hint at the beginning that the beast is really a good guy was that the design of the monster fish was way too cutesy and pink.  That was not a scary monster. But, nevertheless, I loved this film and my son kept yelling throughout the film, "I love it!"  

So I'll give "The Sea Beast" an A. 

If you're looking for some more movies to watch on this long holiday weekend, I just found out that 
"Adventures in Plymptoons", a documentary that was made about me back in 2011 is available on Tubi for FREE.  It was directed by a friend of mine, Alexsiya, and it's really a fun watch, but you didn't hear that from me...

Here's the link:

My distributor, the wonderful Shout Factory, has also made most of my animated features available on Tubi, and they're also FREE, so if you've got some extra time this weekend after the BBQ and the fireworks, you can make a whole movie marathon out of it!  

"The Tune"

"I Married a Strange Person"

"Mutant Aliens"

"Hair High"

"Idiots & Angels"


"Revengeance" (co-directed with Jim Lujan)

Well, I guess you don't have to ask me what my new favorite streaming service is... (It's Tubi.). My thanks to Tubi and Shout Factory for making all of these films available for FREE!  I think you have to watch a few ads, but so what?  You could watch all my features in a day, instead of waiting for the DVDs to arrive in the mail!  But if you still like DVDs, too, which is OK, I sell them on my web-site...

Boy, when did the Fourth of July get so commercialized?  Anyway, if you can't make it to the movie theater this weekend, I've given you another great option!  

--Bill Plympton

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