Cinematic Appreciation: Rise of the Guardians

I love movies. They are a combination of every art form- visual and audible, textures and colors and singing and talking and everything beautiful. So I thought I would take some time to fully appreciate the films that capture my heart the most.

I’ll score each film on several different levels:

CGI (Computer Generated Images, or basically special effects): 0 being terrible and 10 being phenomenal.

COSTUMING AND MAKEUP (speaks for itself): 0 being inaccurate and 10 being perfect.

SCREENPLAY (script): 0 being filled with plot holes and 10 being flawless.

CASTING (even extras!): 0 being meh and 10 being EVEN THE PERSON ON THE SIDEWALK WAS IN CHARACTER!!!

MUSIC (soundtrack): 0 being a detraction from the film and 10 being an advantage.

And, finally, OVERALL FEELS (my fangirling emotions): 0 being none and 10 being I-can’t-breathe.

Since my last Cinematic Appreciation was on Captain America, I thought I would do something completely opposite this time so you don’t think I give every movie 10 out of 10. Here goes.

Rise of the Guardians

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Starring Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, and Jude Law

CGI: Not applicable.

But we’ll change it to Animation (rendering): 5 out of 10.

The main characters- Jack, Bunny, North, Tooth, and Sandy- were each developed really well aesthetically. Each had a very different look that aided in characterizing them. Their personalities shone through their appearance.

However, there was a lot of detail and depth missing, especially from the kids (like Jamie) and the backgrounds. Not everyone can be Pixar, but I noticed the lack of detail and it drew me out of the story.

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COSTUMING AND MAKEUP: Also not really applicable. These scoring systems are tailored to live-action films.

But, we’ll judge the Aesthetics (color, design): 7 out of 10.

This movie definitely had its moments. Tooth Palace was especially pleasing to the eye, with hexagonal latticework and gold-plated structures. Pitch Black’s lair provides some mind games with shadows, which I feel was pulled off relatively well.

Each of the guardian’s home places were designed to suit their character- Tooth’s palace was pink and flighty, and North’s workshop was as Russian as his accent.

The kid’s world fell flat, however, as did Jack’s frost powers. (Keep in mind this was after I’d seen Frozen, and Disney definitely won the Ice Powers battle.)

SCREENPLAY: 2 out of 10.

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Everyone loves Jack Frost. His wit and charm kept the movie alive, and he’s pretty much the only reason I paid money for this movie.

But the plot of this movie was AWFUL. The climax was completely non-existent, and each event with Pitch Black was unexplained and irrelevant.

How did Pitch make black sand? How did Sandman come back to life? Why do the nightmares turn into Sandy’s sand when the kids touch them? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

Not to mention the part in the movie when Jack fights against Pitch’s power and beats him right after Sandy dies. And for some reason he can never defeat Pitch again.

WHY?!?!?!?

CASTING: 8 out of 10.

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This movie’s saving grace, as I have already said, is Chris Pine. Casting of all the guardians was A+. Hugh Jackman as Bunny- need I say more? I never knew I wanted to see Hugh Jackman play the easter bunny, but apparently I did. Alec Baldwin’s North is also noteworthy.

I didn’t like the kids, in case you hadn’t picked up on that already. Jamie was okay. But who in the world is Cupcake and why is she so annoying?

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MUSIC: 0 out of 10.

Yes, that says zero. I have nothing good to say about this music except that it is orchestrated, and not digital. That is the only positive thing I can think of.

A credits song is supposed to wrap up the movie with something that will bring up all those wonderful emotions you had while watching the film, like I See Fire at the end of the second Hobbit movie, or Holes in the Sky from Insurgent. But Rise of the Guardians utterly failed in the credits-song department. Not only was it boring but it didn’t capture the essence of the movie.

The soundtrack itself carries some of the feeling of the story, but I am a strong believer that music is 50% of the emotion. And this music didn’t cut it. When Jamie finally sees Jack it could have swelled into glorious strings and brass, but it didn’t. The music guides my emotions. As Plato put it,

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

OVERALL FEELS: Meh out of 10.

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Meh. What a perfect word describe my uninvolved, distanced appreciation for this movie. Yeah, I love Jack Frost. But to tell you the truth I like his fan art better than his film. All in all, I genuinely like the guardians and thought they were developed really well. But where so many variables fail, even the strongest of characters can’t save the story.

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