The Book of Life
Review Written By: Adolph Vega
This movie has a very rich and vivid art style that is enhanced with stereoscopic 3D. Often within the movie things would pop out of the screen in fun ways. Several times particle effects like confetti were handled very well in 3D. The movie used 3D perspective in quality ways to indicate when objects within the scenery were close and far. A few times the movie would turn off 3D all together because it changed art styles within the story. When the movie turned off 3D it was a little jarring, but in context of the story it made sense. The movie didn’t look blurry, or darker because of the 3D effect. I never thought the movie needed the 3D, but I was glad to have watched it in 3D.
Final Verdict: Good 3D
The Book of Life is a very charming well-made and enjoyable movie for the entire family. The storytelling within this movie is handled differently than I imagined and is a story within a story and is more interesting than it appears within the movie trailers. At first glance the story seems to be a very cliché love story, but the movie uses clichés as a grounding device for this very imaginative story. This story revolves around the Mexican holiday the “Day of the Dead” and a small Mexican town with various gods who interfere with human life. This movie had a similar sensibility to Disney’s “Hercules” but I enjoyed this movie far more than that 1997 animated movie. I need to state for full disclosure that I am Hispanic and I love my culture, but the day of the dead is something my family never celebrated so I was worried how much I could relate to this movie. Fortunately the movie does a good job of telling you the basics of this holiday and never pokes fun but celebrates the traditions. Regarding the Hispanic heritage this movie walks the line between being insulting to cultural stereotypes and being good-natured. I am happy to report this movie is not offensive to Hispanic culture and the story and characters are playful and positive in nature. Overall the tone of the movie is very playful funny, entertaining and keeps the movie fun and fast. This fast pace nature within the movie is actually one of the major downfalls. The characters, story and setting are so interesting they don’t give you any breathing room to really get to know the characters beyond a basic understanding and often things seemed rushed to the next action set piece instead of really getting to know the characters or setting. Another downfall of this movie is the original music is totally forgettable, and with music being a major plot point of one of the main characters that’s a real shame. The setting this movie makes is very captivating and the characters are all likeable and enjoyable, I only wish they would slow down and give you time to really get to know what’s going on. Regardless of the super fast nature I found this movie very entertaining, very funny and well constructed with a great heart and very enjoyable from beginning to end.
Final Verdict: 8 / 10
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