Trolls (Review)

Trolls (Review)

Where do I even begin with this film?

Trolls are about the Trolls, those toys that you had as kids with small bodies but long hair, who live in the forest singing, dancing, making scrapbook and generally being happy all the time.  They have a predator, a race called the Bergens, who can only be happy by eating Trolls.  When Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), throws a loud party, it draws the town to the attention of the bergen, Chef (Christine Baranski), who kidnaps Poppy’s friends.  She forces Branch (Justin Timberlake), an unhappy and sarcastic troll, to accompany her as they go off to rescue their friends.

To say that I was confused throughout the whole movie is an understatement.  Nothing in this world makes sense.  It’s all topsy-turvy with strange animals and even stranger settings.  It almost looks like a world straight from a Dr. Seuss book.  I have to say, though, that I found myself ignoring the strangeness and just going along for the ride.  It has a charm which is probably due to their awareness that this is all crazy.  They know how insane this is, but just go with it.

While I can enjoy the movie and the music, I worry that the music will eventually become dated.  Every song seems to be a rehashed version of a Top 40 song which just makes it easier to date.  The songs are catchy though and serve a purpose of moving the emotional plot along.

The animation is interesting in its own right.  Everything about the world, from the trees to the animals, are designed to look like they’re made out of scrapbook felt and paper.  If anything, this whole thing was designed to look like it was a book made by a child (which, even the craziness of the world, it probably was).

The characters are your typical kids movie stereotypes.  Anna Kendrick is the happy go lucky one while Justin Timberlake is the sourpuss and they have to work together to do the right thing.  This whole film does have the feeling of a corporate paint by numbers movie.

Still, I found myself enjoying it, even though the movie is predictable.  The songs are catchy, the visuals are ridiculously bizarre and the characters are funny.  The best analogy I can think of is that this movie is like cotton candy: it’s sweet, fluffy and colorful with not much substance, but if you can enjoy it for what it is, then it’s a good time.

The Accountant (Review)

The Accountant (Review)

The Accountant is an action-thriller that is honestly hard to describe.  It’s not a movie that’s about a plot or story but is more about introducing this character of Christian Wolff, an autistic accountant who was trained by his military father to defend himself with any and all means necessary.  That means martial arts and gunplay, making him one of the deadliest people on the planet.

One thing that surprised me about the movie was how much time they spent explaining what autism is.  The movie also seems to serve as a way to explain autism to the masses and then hiding the public service under an action-thriller movie starring Ben Affleck in a rare role where he proves that he does have the ability to act.  Up until this point I had assumed that he was a better director than he was an actor but he actually does a pretty good job in this movie.  As to whether or not his portrayal is an accurate representation of autism, I’m not the person to ask.

One interesting side story is JK Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who are members of the Financial Crimes for the Treasury.  They are the ones who are trying to discover Wolff but they’re not really the main threat that Wolff has to deal with.  In fact, they never really interact with each other throughout the movie.

The one way that I would describe this movie is that a lot of the plot lines are scattered around.  It’s trying to be several things at once and it almost suffers.  Even JK Simmons’ story towards the end of the movie is all over the place.  Anna Kendrick is there in the movie but she’s barely a footnote, simply being the token damsel in distress.

That said, the action is solid and fun and the story has twists and turns that kept me invested throughout.  I’m simply not surprised that the movie felt a little longer than it probably should have been.