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How to Train your Dragon: Visually Captivating for the Child at Heart
Throw on your 3D glasses and allow your imagination to soar with the latest animation film by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, the directing team that also worked side by side on Disney’s Mulan and Lilo & Stitch.
In their latest venture into the 3D animation world, How to Train your Dragon revolves around Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (Buruchel), a young and immensely sweet young boy who has the ultimate dream of joining the Viking ranks alongside his father, Stoic the Vast (Butler). In the eyes of the humongous and steaming-attitude Stoic, young and clumsy Hiccup is not good enough to gain the Viking horns, and is better left to wield swords and stay out of Stoic’s way.
Taking place in a Viking village called Berk, the film guides you through Hiccup’s fight against disenchantment, evil and the ironies of life experienced by the 10-year-old boy that can apply to anyone, no matter the age.
The small yet brave Hiccup sets out on a personal journey that takes his quest to become a dragon-fighting Viking down a completely different path. The illuminating discovery that Hiccup stumbles upon not only changes his perspective on the Viking vs. Dragon world but burdens him with the responsibility of enlightening his community, which is bound to never listen.
In the meanwhile, Hiccup’s love for Astrid (Ferrera), a female Viking-in-training, keeps a lighthearted twist on an otherwise tumultuous and heavy journey for little Hiccup.
From Hiccup’s fight against the village’s ignorance to his surprising friendship formed with the Night Fury dragon, who he names Toothless, Hiccup’s journey is bound to enthral you with the young boy’s determination and courage to bring peace between both sides of Hiccup’s new found world.
The cinematography is empowering at times, including the incredible flying scene where Hiccup is mounted on the back of Toothless, flying through beautiful landscapes of a lush valley and bouncy clouds. Intricate details and textures are used throughout the entire film, leaving you reaching out for a feel, from the single strands of hair woven into Astrid’s braids to the wrinkle lines revealing the intensity of Stoic’s life.
While the ending might possibly tug at your emotions, How to Train your Dragon is capable of pulling you into the absolute beauty of a child’s imagination, which is often times squelched. You’re left wanting to be engaged with your childlike self and noticing the creatures around that we often forget about; from the tiniest of bug to the most gargantuan of dragon. Allow yourself to be there and take part in Hiccup’s story that is bound to teach you one thing or another.
The sequel to the 2012’s sleeper hit, Think Like a Man, is unfortunately, not as smart or funny as it thinks it is. Based on the bestselling relationship-advice book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the story seems to have taken on more than it can handle and as a result, ends up bringing in a whole load of concern and very little excitement.
Set in L.A – before travelling down to Las Vegas - Think Like a Man Too follows the story of four male friends; Dominic, (Ealy), a dreamer and aspiring chef who becomes involved with the career-obsessed Lauren (Henson). Michael, (Jenkins), a real Mamma’s Boy whose unusual attachment to his widowed mother, Loretta (Lewis) is causing concern with his current girlfriend – and wife-to-be - Candace (Hall). Zeke (Malco), a serious player and a true ladies man who is forced to try and court Mya (Good). Jeremy (Ferrara), a man who has been in a relationship with Kristen (Union) for over nine years, but is refusing to grow up and pop the question, and finally, there is Cedric (Hart); the divorced guy who enjoys dishing out advice and provides the necessary insights into the workings of a woman’s mind.
So, when the girls stumble upon a new self-help book - written by comedian and game-host, Steve Harvey - they decide it’s time to turn the tables on their respective partners, but it’s not long before the men figure out what is going on and begin doing the same thing.
Directed by Tim Story - see Barbershop or any of the Fantastic Four movies – and written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, Think Like a Man Too appears overworked, disjointed and a little timeworn. There is very little comedy hiding beneath the neon lights of the infamous Sin City, and although the characters shared a decent amount of chemistry on screen – special nods to Hart who ends up carrying most of the comedy as the bitter and “knowledgeable’ divorcee – but, there are just too many of them to keep up with, let alone fully connect to.
Think Like a Man Too is neither ground-breaking nor completely dreadful; relatively funny but overly long and a little loose, the movie offers too many storylines - and very little relationship advice - but not enough story, or focus, to see any of them through until the end.
First, it’s important to establish that we cannot place the blame in its entirety on Ramez Galal for his sadistic show. A big part of the blame should fall on us, the viewers, who eagerly wait for pranks and spike the show’s ratings, even reaching the point where café owners will blast these shows on large TVs to attract customers. It’s time to admit that there’s a sadist in all of us.
The premise of the show is a guest will come in to film an episode about the World Cup on a zodiac boat out at sea. The boat malfunctions, one of the presenters dives in to see what’s wrong, and the events quickly escalate to the boat sinking with the guest and a fake shark attack.
In the episode with Rania Mahmoud Yassin and Mohamed Riad, it’s interesting to point out that the boat didn’t sink entirely, and Rania kept a firm clutch on her sunglasses in a situation where any normal person would’ve let go of his/her belongings in exchange for safety. We ignored these points at first, but after several mentions on TV and by other viewers, we couldn’t help but wonder.
The show comes with a lot of legal issues this year, of which, a case that Athar El Hakim filed against Galal, banning her episode from airing, under the pretence that the prank extremely frightened her. The truth behind that is in question, after a video of her discussing her pay for the episode was leaked. Other legal issues concerning the show include damage to marine life from planting metal poles to support the hidden cameras.
Because nothing is black and white, it’s important to admit Galal’s sense of humour and experience, especially when it’s imitated by an artist like Mohamed Fouad in his show “Fo’sh Fil Mo’askar”, a stale and completely void of humour prank show.
We have to admit, we were impressed by the shark boat Galal uses to rescue the guests. He is a smart actor who was able to establish himself within Ramadan TV and create shows that people wait for year to year.