15 December 2016

There Be Monsters Here. Pete's #Dragon & the Remaking of a Beloved #Disney Classic #Movie

I'm wary of seeing remakes of movies. Hollywood has been on a rampage, seemingly determined to remake every movie in recent (and not so recent) history; sometimes rebooting films mere years after the last remake. As a result, the quality of films being put out is at an all time low, in my opinion. There is little original, and the remakes are uninspired derivative drivel (for the most part).

Considering the landscape, it's a pleasant surprise when one discovers a remake with some merit. Sadly, this is not that tale. On a bit of a lark, a few days ago I rented the remake of Pete's Dragon (2016) on Google Play.
Google Play gave me $1.00 account credit + an "$0.99 Any Movie Rental" promotion = Free Movie Rental w/ 1-cent leftover.
I LOVE DRAGONS! Thought I should state this up front. I wanted a pet dragon as a wee tot, was fascinated with them and was sorely disappointed to be told such creatures did not exist. My personal video library is heavy on dragon flicks. I like them animated, animatronic and/or CGI. I will check out a movie merely because I heard a dragon makes an appearance in it.

Thus, I decided to take a chance on this new version of Pete's Dragon in spite of my distaste for remakes. Since it was a free movie rental, I figured if I absolutely hated it, I'd just stop watching, but I wanted to at least see the updated CGI Eliot. (In all honesty the original wasn't a spectacular film, but it gets a pass due to the gloss of my childhood nostalgia and because... DRAGON.)

Well, the movie started off very slowly. And initially I didn't gel with the fuzzy green CGI Eliot. Frustrated, I stopped watching for nearly 24 hours.
By the way, thanks for the longer active viewing window, Google Play --- so much nicer than "you only have 24 hours to view this title".
But I eventually went back, gave it another chance and finished watching it. Eliot grew on me, the human characters did not. (I actually desired to inflict violence upon several of them.) The storyline employs a good deal of heavy handed over-dramatizations, not to mention its plethora of "stupid human tricks".

I wouldn't purchase a copy and I probably would not watch it again --- unless babysitting a child who was interested in viewing it --- but there were moments of charm (mainly concerning the dragon). However, if Eliot does a spinoff without those pesky humans, I'm so there.

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