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Movie Review: The Book of Life

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Release Date: October 17, 2014
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Jorge R. Gutierrez
Screenwriter: Jorge R. Gutierrez
Starring: Diego Luna, Channing Tatum, Zoë Saldana, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Kate del Castillo, Cheech Marin, Placido Domingo, Hector Elizondo, Ana de la Reguera, Eugenio Derbez, Gabriel Iglesias, Ricardo “El Mandril” Sanchez, Danny Trejo
Genre: Animation, Comedy

My New Favorite Family movie!! It is so great to watch a movie that didn’t have anything to do with princesses and princes. Though it was based on the Mexican Folklore of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), it still had real life lessons. The fact the Benicio del Toro had a hand in it was even better!!!

This is a story of young Manolo (Luna) who, well…wants to be a musician and not a bull fighter. He walked around town and plays music with the guitar that he received from Maria (Saldana) before she is sent away when they were children.
The mission..when she returns, who can win her hand in marriage?
Joaquin (Tatum) is a decorated soldier mainly full of himself. Okay, more of a narcissist (meaning he loves himself).

Well, the movie is centered on the three characters: Manolo, Maria and Joaquin. Three children who grew up together and find themselves, well, in a triangle.
Manolo, from family of bull fighters and a musician; Joaquin, from the son of the most heroic soldier in the town; Maria, the town daughter.
The movie fast forwards to when Maria returns from studying abroad and now the town is in trouble. Who will win the Hand of beautiful Maria, Joaquin or Manolo? Amidst their triangle, there is the “battle” between the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten.
Tricks are definitely played, especially between La Muerte and Xibalba.

I loved the colors in this movie, so bright and happy. I was in awe of this little town in the movie and the Land of the Remembered.
The synopsis says Manolo needs to face his fears, but most importantly it was more about finding out what kind of man he wanted to become and if Maria would still love him.

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The 2010 “Avatar: The Last Airbender” movie by M. Night Shyamalan faced criticism for its deviations from the beloved animated series. The film struggled with pacing, casting, and a lackluster script, disappointing fans who cherished the source material. In contrast, the 2024 Netflix series has generated positive buzz for its commitment to diverse casting, adherence to the original storyline, and improved character development. The series seems poised to capture the essence of the animated show, offering a fresh and faithful adaptation that resonates with both new and existing fans.

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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