Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Strange Magic Review

So a few weeks ago I saw this movie called Strange Magic. Now generally I like being on top of things with my movie reviews. However, sometimes life gets in the way and I get behind. I feel bad when that happens. I really do. But yeah, no one saw this movie. No one cared about this movie. Quite honestly, I didn't make it a priority to write my review because there was more interesting things to write about. As you can tell, I have written plenty of movie reviews recently of movies that I saw after Strange Magic. But do you know what, I decided that it was time to finally sit down and write this movie review. Then I realized that I have almost forgotten what this movie was about. Sure, you can blame my memory for that. But in my defense, this movie is so darn forgettable that you really can't blame me for this one. In fact, when I went to Wikipedia to look up the plot to remind me of what I had seen, Wikipedia was even confused. "Strange Magic? You mean the song by Electric Light Orchestra?" No, Wikipedia. I mean the movie that was released a month ago. See what I mean? Wikipedia even forgot this movie existed.

So I read the plot summary. Oh yes. That's what happened here. And do you know what, I usually don't do this, but I'm going to let Wikipedia introduce this movie for you. I won't post the whole plot summary. But here's the first of three paragraphs:

"The realm is divided between a land of fairies and light, and a land of bog creatures living in the dark forest; Primrose flowers, which are a crucial ingredient to love potions marks the border between the lands. Marianne; a fairy and heir to the throne of the Fairy Kingdom is engaged to be married to Roland; a handsome warrior who breaks her heart when she discovers him kissing another fairy on their Weeding Day. Scorned, Marianne vows to never fall in love again. Sometime later; her sister Dawn, who frequently says she is in love is distraught over the upcoming Spring Ball over which boy she could meet there. Her best friend Sunny, an elf who has a crush on Dawn tries to cheer her up with a song, but they are nearly devoured by a giant lizard before a hardened Marianne rescues them. Sunny, having fallen through the border of the dark forest finds a Primrose petal, which he subsequently hides when fleeing the forest." 

Yup. That's our movie. And if you think that's hard to follow, try watching this whole movie. My goodness, it was a chore. This here sounds like it was at least half of the movie with everything that happened, right? HA! This was like the first 15 minutes. They tried to shove so much into this movie that it ended up being rushed, choppy, incoherent, and convoluted. If you want to get an idea of the tone and feel of the movie, just go watch the trailer. By goodness that was honestly one of the worst trailers I have ever seen. I didn't even have a clue what the movie was going to be about outside the fact that there were a bunch of goblins and fairies and a whole bunch of confusing nonsense going on. Ok, I thought. I've seen horrendous trailers for good movies before and I've also seen amazing trailers for movies that were complete and utter crap. Perhaps this movie will be good despite the trailer. Nope. The movie is about as confusing and off-the-wall as the trailer.

"From the mind of George Lucas."

Once upon a time that used to be a good sign for a movie. I mean, the man is the creator of Star Wars. STAR WARS!!!! One of the greatest trilogies of all time, if not the greatest. I mean no disrespect for the man. I will always have a special place in my heart for George Lucas. I mean that in the most normal way possible because the man created Star Wars. I want to love everything he does. But something is off. I know I'm the last one to jump on this bandwagon. Shortly after Star Wars, he started doing weird things like Howard the Duck. The he re-released Star Wars into theaters having made a lot of changes. He got so obsessed with making changes that every subsequent release on DVD and bluray and whatnot also included a whole bunch of changes. I'm not one to really complain about that, but I know a lot of Star Wars fans I can point you to if you want to hear a few good rants. Then there's this thing called the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Once again, I'm not one to really complain about them because I like them a lot more than many people, but I do admit that they are a HUGE step down from the original trilogy. I mean, the special effects are breathtaking and the lightsaber duels are totally epic. The basic structure of the story is also just fine. But man, the acting, the script, and the dialogue are honestly putrid throughout. Those are the types of things that you can point to the director as being the problem.

Getting my vibe? George Lucas became the most respected and loved filmmaker of all time after creating possible the greatest movie universe ever. Then over the course of the next 20 or so years, he went and burnt down all his bridges, alienating most of his fan base in the process. Everyone still loves Star Wars. But George Lucas himself has become a laughing stock and a punchline. Once again, I am usually one to defend him, but did you see that Red Tails movie he did a few years ago. Horrible. And this? Strange Magic? Ouch. I can't defend him anymore when he consistently has proven that he is not a very good filmmaker anymore. Technically, he did not write, direct, or produce this movie. He was merely an executive producer. But this is his story. He'd been wanting this to get done for like 15 years. It was his passion project. I don't get it, George. Why? Why did you think this was a good idea? What trip has your mind been on these last 15 years? This is a mess. A complete and utter mess.

Oh but I'm not done quite yet. This movie is a musical. As I hope I've proven to you, I absolutely adore a well-made musical. I'm a musical person. I was in band throughout grade school. I like to sing. I like listening to music. I love music. Always have. Always will. But there is almost nothing worse than an atrociously done musical and this is a prime example of that. Every single scene they break out into song. None of it's original. Most of it is current pop music. Some of it I think comes from A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's what I've been told and read, anyways. I'm not exactly familiar with that specific Shakespeare play. The actual singing in the movie isn't bad. The problem every single song is poorly timed and grossly out of place. This did not need to be a musical. I don't know why it was. I got 15 minutes into the movie and was just sick of the music and every subsequent song after just made me cringe. But it kept going for the whole movie. In fact, they unnecessarily broke out into song during every single. Every. Single. Freaking. Scene.

I don't know if any of you actually wanted to see this movie in theaters. If you did, it's gone. As a sign of how no one cared about this movie, during opening weekend, it was booked in over 3,000 theaters. It kept those theaters in its second weekend. Weekend three it lost over half of those screens as it was down to just 1,300 theaters. This past weekend, weekend number four, it lost most of that 1,300 and thus only played in 175 theaters. That's embarrassing. So in order to see this, you're going to have to wait until it comes out on DVD. But really, I hope I've convinced you that this isn't worth your time. It's a mess in just about every way. I mean, the animation itself is actually good, but that's it. If anything, this is the type of movie that might be a decent option if it comes to Netflix and you need something to distract your three-year old kids for a few minutes. But overall, this is just embarrassing for George Lucas, Lucasfilm Animation Studios, and everyone else involved. I'm giving Strange Magic a 3/10.

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