Thursday, 20 July 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: The Chosen One



Going in a different direction of 'the chosen one' with a theme within a theme. There are quite a few 'children’s' films out there which have a 'chosen one' type prophecy happening.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

A Studio Ghibli film that I didn't enjoy at first as I found it too confusing. Set in a post-apocalyptic distant future where gigantic mutated insects inhabit the jungles. Nausicaäis the fearless, animal loving adventurous princess of the Valley of the Wind. A neighbouring kingdom take over the valley murdering Nausicaä's father and plan to kill the big bugs which actually play an important part in keeping the world together. Nausicaä tries to save her people as well the bugs from the invading army. Upon a second watch the film was actually pretty good. Seen as a cry out to save the environment and showing a girl as the hero of the day, the film morphs into something else and quire far from just being a kids
movie.
Kubo and Two Strings

Following on from disturbing as hell but brilliant Coraline (which I love) and Paranorman (which I very much enjoyed), we have our hero, Kubo, a young boy with one eye who has the power/skill to create magic when he plays his shamisen. Left all alone in the world, as he father, a great warrior, was killed in battle and his mother, died protecting him, he begins a quest to fight the evil Moon King who hunts him down, wanting his other eye. It seems complicated but when you watch it, everything falls into place. My only qualm about the film is that Japanese actors do not voice the main characters. Had to say it. Kubo ends up on a quest with a snow monkey and giant beetle and it is in part amusing but above all else a beautifully made heartbreaking story. Laika really know how to get to you. 

Moana

This was the big breakthrough movie NOT Frozen. Moana broke free from the generic 'princess tale' which the characters even make fun of in the story. Moana may be the daughter of the chief and will one day take up the position but the oceans calls to her, which seems at first a need for adventure but in fact there is a reason why the ocean chose her. Her world is slowly dying, being poisoned. She needs to restore the heart of 'mother nature' island goddess, Te Fiti that was stolen by demigod Maui. She journeys across the ocean, with a reluctant Maui, fighting weird monsters and learning about her true calling, he be a voyager. Marking the first time Disney has had a Polynesian 'princess' and the first time there is no love interest, which is a huge step. The best part is that you don't need or notice this latter fact. The story is about Moana and her quest. This is what we've been waiting for.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at 

7 comments:

  1. I've seen your last two. LOVE Moana and Kubo was okay. I like your theme within a theme here.

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  2. Yikes I've seen none of these due to my aversion to animated anything. But I do love a theme within the theme and these are excellent picks within the genre.

    Since I thought that this week would be franchise heavy I purposely avoided anything along the lines of Harry Potter and so and went with stand alone films that look at the theme.

    Excalibur (1981) - Director John Boorman’s amazingly evocative version of Le Morte d’Arthur where all the elements-casting, cinematography, acting, music, visual style and direction blend seamlessly. Following a prologue explaining how Excalibur came to be in the stone we meet the young squire Arthur (Nigel Terry) who is guided by Merlin (a brilliant Nicol Williamson) to the realization that he is The Chosen One by removing the Sword in the Stone. Initially as King Arthur he unites England, befriends Lancelot, takes Guenevere as his Queen and formulates the Knights of the Round Table but then his malicious half-sister Morgana (Helen Mirren) begins to take her revenge for the grudge she’s long held against both Arthur’s father and Merlin and a darkness descends on the land. Loaded with performers who went on to greater fame-Gabriel Bryne, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart and Mirren among them.

    The Ten Commandments (1956)-C.B. DeMille’s final film is a huge pageant telling the story of how Moses came to realize he is The Chosen One to lead the Exodus to Mount Sinai and receive the Ten Commandments. Florid and often arch but loaded with great set design and effects that are still impressive 60 years later. Charlton Heston’s granite stiffness is actually a perfect fit for Moses, MISS Anne Baxter could not be more dramatically entertaining as Nefretiri torn between two men and emoting for all she’s worth over it and they are not alone, everybody more or less projects to the back row. Both Yul Brynner and Yvonne de Carlo are more naturalistic but they’re exceptions. If you enjoy BIG pictures making BIG statements this is one of the best.

    The Last Starfighter (1984)-Teenager Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) spends all his free time playing the video game Starfighter at which he’s expert. He doesn’t think much of it when the new guy in his trailer court (Robert Preston) notices how good he is but the next thing he knows Preston has spirited him away to the edge of the galaxy and told him that he is The Chosen One who can save the universe! Turns out the video game was a test and Alex and his compatriot lizard/man Grig (Dan O'Herlihy) are leading the Star League in fighting the evil Kodan forces.

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  3. Love that you went with all kiddie flicks. And I love the two that I've seen: Kubo and Moana. Both are outstanding. Kubo is just beyond beautiful. I also agree that Moana is much more a breakthrough flick than Frozen. Seeing how great those two are, I feel the need to see Nausicaa.

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  4. I couldn't help but snicker at the, I think, unintentioned pun when you said the story morphed.... with insects they often do:) I don't think I will see the first 2 as insects don't appeal to me overall especially since I have been bitten by mosquitoes and these nasty little bugs. These 2 species can go die somewhere. I am interested in seeing Moana though

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  5. I loved Kubo and the Two Strings!

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  6. Haven't seen Kubo yet but I did sort of like Moana, not my favourite though.

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  7. A lot of children's stories have the chosen one thing...just look at all the Sci-Fi and Fantasy YA or middle grade books, many of which have had film adaptations and most don't get a sequel.

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