Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pete's Dragon

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.
Review by Nara

I haven't seen the original Pete's Dragon, which a quick Google tells me was made in 1977 (so not so surprising that I haven't seen it). Taking a look at the plot on Wiki, it seems that this remake is a complete remake, with the story revamped to better suit modern times and of course with better graphics than a cartoon dragon superimposed onto a live action film (instead we get a pretty realistic looking CG dragon).

I think the framework of the story was pretty basic. There wasn't really a deeper message to be found, and the plot was quite linear. I think this sort of story is much more aimed at a younger audience, and I found that I definitely would have enjoyed the film more had I been, say, an 8 year old. Certainly every child in the cinema for the preview screening seemed to be very much enjoying the movie!

Jusst as a random sidenote, I kind of couldn't get over the fact that the dragon was furry. It was so weird! I'm too used to them having scales and with its fur it looked more like Sully from Monsters Inc than what I'd normally think of for a dragon. It looked so damn fluffy though- definitely want to be able to pet Elliot myself haha.

The acting was quite good overall. I especially thought that Oakes Fegley, who plays main character Pete, did an excellent job, considering that half of his acting was with a computer generated character. On the other hand the actor who played Natalie, a local in the nearby town, wasn't nearly as good- the perils of using child actors I suppose. I had no issues with any of the other actors.

So overall, I would definitely still recommend the movie for families as it's certainly a movie that younger viewers will enjoy!

Released in cinemas in Australia on September 15.
Have a look at the trailer below!

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Cinematography: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5

Thanks to Natasha Louise Enterprises for the invitation to the advanced screening!