Sunday, October 20, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 33
Signup

Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
ABDOMINABLE
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CRAWL
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
DOWNTON ABBEY
GEMINI MAN
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
HUSTLERS
IT: CHAPTER 2
JEXI
JUDY
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GOLDFINCH
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

ABDOMINABLE

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMWORKS ANIMATION

ABDOMINABLE


Where is it playing?: Movies Lompoc, Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: PG

What's it worth?: $Rental (Karen Garcia)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman have had their hands in animated/fantasy films such as Monsters Inc. and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, respectively, in the writers’ room or the visual department. 

The two have now come together for the first time as a director-duo to create DreamWorks’ Abominable, where Chloe Bennet is the voice of Yi, a young girl who goes on an epic adventure across China to take a yeti back to its home on Mount Everest.

I’ve heard that DreamWorks has been called Pixar’s redheaded stepsister because its films just don’t quite reach the magnitude of Toy Story, Coco, Cars, or Up—you get the idea. I will admit they have had some fan favorites such as Shrek, the Wallace and Gromit franchise, Madagascar, or The Road to El Dorado, but similar to many of the animation movies that come out of DreamWorks, Abominable just falls a little flat.

The film opens up when a playful and very furry yeti breaks out of a laboratory and into a busy city in China. These first few scenes are done from a first-person perspective, so it feels like the audience is breaking out of confinement and running into oncoming traffic—the first and last time the filmmakers use this visual storytelling effect. 

The creature takes refuge on an apartment rooftop where he can see a brightly lit billboard with a Mount Everest photo. 

The rooftop is also a refuge for Yi, a teenager who avoids her family and works odd jobs to save up for a trip across China that her late father had planned for them. 

The yeti and Yi meet, and after an initial startle, Yi decides she’s going to help the creature escape from a doctor and a villainous animal collector from the lab—and return him to his home.

Yi’s childhood friends Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) join the escapees on their journey.

Of course the adventure has it ups and downs, separations, and glimmers of magic. It turns out the yeti they decided to name Everest can magically communicate with nature, causing a dandelion to grow 10 times its normal size, getting the group out of the villain’s grasp. 

What this animated film has going for it is the scenery the creative team designed—from the spectacular fields of blooming flowers to the snowy mountaintops of Everest. 

But this story has been done more times than I can count. You know, greedy adults who want to exploit natural habitats for their own benefit and innocent young children who want to preserve them. Not to mention the coming-of-age plot after losing a parent. There are plenty of animated films that have used these plot lines successfully; Abominable didn’t really do it justice. 

The script wasn’t groundbreaking either, as a lot of the jokes were one-liners that didn’t even make the kids in my audience erupt in laughter. (97 min.)

—Karen Garcia 




Weekly Poll
What do you think about Guadalupe's major housing plans, which include 800 planned homes?

Good. The area needs as many new houses as possible.
It's a good idea if commercial developments like big box stores don't follow.
There should be more, but 800 houses is too many.
Bad idea. That many homes will skyrocket the city's population.

| Poll Results