Review: Finding Dory

Wow. What. A. Disappointment. I haven’t felt this let down from a Disney (all be it Pixar) film since Chicken Little. 

After waiting months for a possible time to go and see it (birthdays, work and other commitments) I managed to get tickets for a midday showing on a Sunday. Yes, it was near the end of screening time. Yes, the cinema was mostly empty bar some ladies with their children. Yes, there wasn’t the euphoric height of excitement when you’re surrounded by buzzing fans… but I wanted to enjoy it!

Leaving the screen, I desperately tried to find some positives as I didn’t want to be left with such a negative feeling towards Pixar after all – they were the people who bought us Toy Story! (Now that’s how you do a sequel!) so the three positives I could find were as follows;

  1. The animation was brilliant. Sure, you could argue that Pixar never fails in terms of producing high-quality animations or that you would hope so given how much time/money was spent… but I don’t think you should diminish the fact that the finish was so aesthetically magnificent that every time the plot was sending you to sleep, you could still find some interesting to marvel at. 
  2. I did laugh on occasions (with the “follow me” “you’re in a cup” stuff not to mention the “mummies and daddies” section), but it wasn’t as frequent as I was expecting or hoping for.
  3. Baby Dory was super cute. It’s safe to say that the flashbacks to baby Dory with her big eyes and adorable forgetfulness

I was so keen to hold on to the fact that Pixar were way above producing something so mind numbing in plot that I started to clutch at straws in a deep and meaningful way. What if the repetitive nature of the film and the perpetual loop in the plot and script was there to essentuate how Dory must act on a daily basis, I thought. What if the way that Nemo never gave up on Dory is supposed to mimic how we shouldn’t write off Pixar. What if…? What if…? What if…? Then, I came to the conclusion that if that’s what they were trying to achieve, all they did was make me empathise with the people who try not to get frustrated with Dory because they’re watching and hearing the same stuff for two hours. 

On the plus side, the Pixar short that was on just before Finding Dory was lovely and so cute. It hit only appealed to the child in me that would be attracted to cuddling small fluffy animals, it also appealed to my maternal instincts and I did just want to wrap the little bird up and keep him safe! It was wonderful – full of remarkable animation! I’ve concluded that I must watch The Good Dinosaur soon and that I hope, with all my heart, it restores my faith in Pixar. 

Review: Bridget Jones’s Baby

It’s safe to say that the general consensus on this film is that of pleasantly surprised enjoyment. I think all loyal Bridget Jones fans will, if they’re honest with themselves, admit Edge of Reason was good but certainly not on par with Bridget Jones’ Diary. The third enstallment of the series seemed to satisfy most fans. Although I would disagree that it is the “Best Jones yet” (as the tag line would suggest), it definitely exceeded expectations. (And none of the others had Emma Thompson in and she was flawless – as always)

The brilliance of the film deserves to be recognised as it had a lot to live up to. The hype of a third film had been building for years and the news that Hugh Grant had decided not to return had been a big disappointment to many that were following the news so closely. With all of this pressure, I was fearful it would be a massive let down. Most sequels are flops and I think that’s what I was preparing myself for. (Amongst all of the excitement and anticipation, of course.) As many others have, I would dub it “better than the second, by far, but not quite as good as the first.” I certainly was no  disappointed. 

My opinion varies on whether or not Hugh Grant should have made an appearance. Rumour has it that he thought that he had reached a point in his career that he thought he was better than returning to do a sequel to the film franchise that had lay dormant for years – I beg to differ, I think it was those films that helped him obtain a larger fan base and he’s rarely playing a different “type” of character than Daniel Cleaver. Don’t get me wrong, Four Weddings and a Funeral made him famous, in Notting Hill he won the hearts of many, but he definitely capitvated a lot more ladies after Bridget Jones. He’d read the script and tried for some adjustments but couldn’t seem to work with the idea of returning. I think he made a mistake for his career there, but although to begin with, I missed him, it’s clear that Hugh Grant isn’t fundamental to producing a successful Bridget Jones Film.

Patrick Dempsy’s addition was… interesting. I think he was marvellous and definitely the as dreamy, as successful and (controversially) slightly more charming competitor to rival Mark Darcy.  Yes, Patrick was amazing. His character, though…? The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a little bit contrived. His first appearance in the film brought in “Prince Charming” references and Enchanted flashbacks. I was concerned he was going to be a cliché two dimensional perfect character and, in a way, I think he might’ve been. The short scene where he went through the motions of their ideal relationship in five minutes was heartwarming. He won us over then, I think. Jealousy and competition changes people but I felt that his character was inconsistent. The nastiness that came out toward the end, and the “breathe out the pain” nonsense didn’t seem to match the logical, mathematical structure that was presented in the first half of the film. It made me wonder if the slightly cruel edge was put in to make you feel more for Mark Darcy’s situation…?

Speaking of Mark… he certainly wasn’t as “wooden” in the previous films and I find myself plagued with thoughts of how him and Bridget raising a child together just wouldn’t work. The Eton argument in film number two, his inability to do emotional declaration…etc etc etc! Every time a pivotal decision needs to be made in that boy’s future, they with have polar opposite views. I agree with Bridget when she says, “Sometimes you love someone for all the reasons they’re not like you,” but I also think that sometimes you can’t force opposites together no matter how comfortable or “like home” they feel. This would be if you were viewing this from an entirely cynical perspective! I, on the other hand, am a sucker for a story that works out alright in the end. I believe it was clear character development in Mr Darcy’s case was necessary but he showed that he was willing to make the effort to change on multiple occasions towards the end of the film. Wether it was forced or not, Mark’s ability to adapt to what Bridget and the baby needed ,accompanied by Colin Firth’s phenomenal acting skills, made the pairing suitable and pleasing.

As for Renée – other than my huge disagreement with her outright lie about not having any work done, I’d say she was perfect! In the films initial opening, I was definitely concerned about the remaining two hours. I (wrongly) judged the fact hat she was clearly thin, her lips were a completely different shape and her expressions had become less expressive. It was clear she’s had some form of Botox or something and I thought that would infringe on her ability to portray Bridget Jones. It didn’t.  I was wrong. Her mannerisms, her diction, her gate and her clumsy performance were perfect. Absolutely spot on! I’m glad she didn’t force the weight back on and I’m glad she returned for the role. No other woman would have been so outstanding.

The film successfully orchestrated a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings though out. Did I want it to be Mark’s? Did I want it to be Jack’s? I couldn’t really be sure of my own preference until almost the very end! Ultimately, It was hilarious. I even found myself laughing at bits I would’ve wanted to roll my eyes at! I have, and would even still, pay to see it again.