Well, that's become the tradition for me, hasn't it? Spend a day in the city, and sit to blog about it. I'm not really sure I need to get into it that much, because I'm sure that your days in the city are pretty much the same these days: time to do the Christmas shopping. I'm not as far along as I'd like to be. It seems like my past few Saturdays have been filled with Christmas functions I needed to attend on behalf of the station. What's this? Another thing where I have to look pretty and sit at a table that the station got through one of its sponsorship deals and eat free food all in the name of the Company? My job is so hard, you guys.
Well, as fun as those are and as good as the free food is, they do eat up a lot of the Saturdays I'd spend Christmas shopping. However, I have been lucky this year in that I've been able to take care of a lot of my Christmas shopping locally. It's always those one or two things for those hard-to-shop-for people that task me, though. So, off to the city for me, and as always, straight to West Edmonton Mall. As Mom figured out when I was younger, if you can't find it at the Mall, you probably can't find it at all.
As I roamed the Mall, growing more and more crowded in these days leading up to Christmas, I was almost at peace. Whenever I went to the Mall this past year, it was always with an infinite sadness. I'd see so many nice things I wanted, but I know I couldn't afford because of my circumstances, but not this time. Maybe it was because I was so focused on Christmas shopping that I didn't have time to fret. Maybe I have a yuletide faith that things will work out in the end. Maybe I was able to relax because, as I went down my list, I realized I'm further along than I actually thought I was. Either way, this particular round of Christmas shopping was almost relaxing.
Anyway, Christmas shopping is mostly done. Just two items left, and if I can't find them in Westlock, I can snatch them up next week when I'm back in for The Force Awakens.
But before Star Wars, an appetizer. I do so love the animated films of Pixar, and this year we've been blessed with two Pixar films! After Inside Out came out this summer and had us all going, "Pixar is back!" would they be able to continue the streak with The Good Dinosaur?
In an alternate timeline where dinosaurs and humans co-existed, we're introduced to a family of farmers...who are apatosauruses. The youngest one on the farm is Arlo, who's nervous and jittery and afraid of everything. While endearing at first, it starts to get annoying as Arlo gets older. His dad takes him out hunting one day to hep Arlo get over his fears, but Arlo falls into a swift-moving river and is swept miles and miles downstream. Now, it's up to Arlo to make his way home. Joining him is a caveboy he names Spot, and they embark on an odyssey that takes them through many natural disasters, some fanatical pterodactyls, assisting some T-Rex ranchers, and even overcoming their personal losses. Will Arlo finally conquer his fears and make it home?
There's a lot of clever ideas at play. At its core, this film is a Western, and there's a lot of Western tropes at play. I mean, typically in films like this, they make the herbivores the good guys, and the carnivores the bad guys. But the fact that they make herbivores just humble farmers and turn the usually villainous T-Rexes into kindly cowboys is just nice. This is also easily Pixar's most photorealistic film. It takes place in mountainous terrain, and I swear, it looks just like pictures of the Rocky Mountains.
That being said, everything about the film is so basic. It's a fairly basic plot, Arlo goes through a fairly basic character arc. While Inside Out was criticized for being a little too complicated for kids, this goes completely in the opposite direction, and winds up being too simple. It's almost like a bunch of fun Arlo and Spot vignettes that they strung together into a film.
Yeah...at the end, I had the same problem with Brave. It had a lot of great ideas, but they didn't gel into a great movie. 3 Nibs. Complete review on the website.
Well, the requisite blog about the city is done. Time to get back to the Christmas preparation. A Sunday of Christmas cards and Christmas movies on Netflix is in order!