liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Reasons for watching it I'd seen trailers for it and thought I would probably enjoy it as the excerpts seemed funny and cute and well animated. Though I also thought it might be too annoying, not cos it's pitched at children but because it relies too heavily on cringe humour. And there was some amount of buzz on Twitter about a DreamWorks film with a POC as a protagonist and with Rihanna voicing the lead, which was another thing that encouraged me to see the film.

Circumstances of watching it We let the six-year-old pick the film this time :-) I had been ill all week and was just out of quarantine in time to come to the film as originally planned; I'd have been really disappointed to miss it. So I went back to the Light cinema yesterday afternoon with [personal profile] jack and [personal profile] cjwatson and [livejournal.com profile] ghoti and their younger two, and we watched the film and then went to the Indian buffet in the cineplex and it was generally a really nice way to celebrate being better.

Verdict Home II (Worlds Collide) is amazingly sweet and original and a whole lot more fun than I was expecting.

Home is about a socially inept alien, Oh, befriending a somewhat nerdy yet brave and resourceful human girl, Gratuity known as Tip (which is already a brilliant name!) It shouldn't be amazing to have a protag who's a teenaged girl who's good at geometry but bad at social status games and isn't a white default character; (in fact I don't even know what you call her race, she is a brown-skinned, curly haired immigrant to the US from Barbados, are you supposed to say African-American for people with that sort of background?) but it is still pleasing.

I did think from the trailers that the humour of the film might be annoying, because Oh is voiced by Jim Parsons who is mostly known for Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory and because the trailer I saw shows how he got his name from all the other Boov aliens groaning "Ohhhhhh" every time he shows up. But in fact that's about the most cringey moment in the film, nearly all the rest of the film is sympathetic to Oh and not about laughing at him for having no mates.

The whole film is yes, really wacky, with a lot of silliness and physical humour and stuff clearly pitched at young children, but just incredibly sweet and full of heart, and telling a moderately complex even if silly story. And yes, there are some jokes aimed at adults, but they're not slyly sexual, they're mostly about infosec. There's a roughly benevolent but inept alien invasion of earth, where all the humans are transported to a sort of reservation in Australia, leaving only Tip behind among the Boov settlers. And there's Oh whose hopeless efforts at making friends with the other Boov leads to him being a wanted fugitive, and the two travel the world in a ridiculous flying car trying to evade arrest and find Tip's Mom. Oh, and save the planet from an invasion by much scarier aliens.

I really like the way the Boov are animated, and their changing colours to display emotions. And the space-ships and anti-grav tech and the glorious flying car are all really nicely done too, classic DreamWorks stuff. I like that Tip actually has facial expressions, though she does follow the modern trend of having ridiculously huge eyes. Oh speaks a kind of weird broken English, which is both too fluent and contains implausible errors when they happen to be funny. But most of the humour at the aliens not really understanding how human stuff works felt gentle and not mean at all. And there's no big Message or moral but there is some acknowledgement that colonizing a planet and relocating all the inhabitants is less than wonderful even if you provide for their physical needs. The plot twist about what's actually going on with the scary aliens is totally endearing too.

By far the best thing about the film is the soundtrack. There's a running gag about the aliens being involuntarily compelled to dance when they hear human music, and all the songs are catchy and modern and delightful. I belive Rihanna herself was involved in writing the songs, anyway they're all original to this film and very, very listenable. I've never been as tempted to rush out and buy a film soundtrack, anyway!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-30 03:20 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
This makes two reviews of Home I've read, both completely by chance, in 5 minutes, and both enthusing about it (and I just went and watched the trailer on IMDB and now I'm smiling). The other review is Howard 'Schlock Mercenary' Tayler's, here and the comments there mention it's based on a book, 'The True Meaning of Smekday'

Now I just need a 6YO to justify going to see it!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-30 06:37 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
The book is TERRIFIC, by the way.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-31 02:00 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
You won't be sorry!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-30 07:25 pm (UTC)
wychwood: chess queen against a runestone (Default)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
I'm still sad they didn't call it The True Meaning of Smekday because that is a way more fun title. Glad it was fun, though! In the book he's called "J.Lo" but I imagine that's too risky for film copyright / trademark clearances etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-30 07:43 pm (UTC)
cjwatson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cjwatson
Possibly might not have been in this case since Jennifer Lopez voices Tip's mother. (But maybe just too confusing with that permutation ...)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-31 08:20 am (UTC)
wychwood: chess queen against a runestone (Default)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
Ah! Then that is very intriguing. I wonder why they changed it? Because the absurdism of the name was definitely one of the big things I remember people talking about with the book.

(Like how I get confused with the Star Trek reboot because Kirk's mother is called Winona but Winona Ryder is playing Spock's mother...)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-05 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
she is a brown-skinned, curly haired immigrant to the US from Barbados, are you supposed to say African-American for people with that sort of background

I believe the adjective for someone from Barbados is Barbadian, or 'Bajan' (Bea-jan (equal stress)) for short.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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