Today’s Viewings: 4 Disney Films and House Episodes

Today, is my first official day of not having anything to do this summer. The best way to cure my boredom? Netflix. So here are some quick thoughts on these films and TV episodes that I watched.

1. Lilo and Stitch  dir. Dean Deblois & Chris Sanders (2002)

Thoughts: What a lovely film this turned out to be! I never watched the entire movie but I had fond memories of the TV show when I was younger. To my surprise, the storytelling is robust, never overselling the tragedy and punctuating each scene between Nani and Lilo with the right amount of melancholy. Stitch too is a hoot. (Grade: B+)

2. Hercules – dir. Ron Clements (1997)

Thoughts: I don’t really like how it mangles Greek mythology (I mean, how else can you tell a family-friendly story with all the sexual perversions included) but I did enjoy the score’s mix of gospel and classic Menken-style musicality. Hercules’s main arc works and Meg is an interesting female lead, but the overall story is a tad dull and the film is actually pretty hideous to look at (the colors clash horribly). (Grade: C).

3. Mulan – dir. Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook (1998)

Thoughts: I still think that Mulan is the best “Disney princess” for the simple fact that she kicks ass harder than anyone before or after her. More than that, she thinks independently and she doesn’t let any man stand in her way. Besides her, Eddie Murphy is pretty funny as Mushu and there are other musical gems in this film, including “A Girl Worth Fighting For,” “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and “Reflections.” (Grade: B+)

4. Pocahontas – dir. Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg (1995)

Thoughts: Wow. This film is beautiful drawn, each scene brimming with colors and fascinating lighting. Pocahontas is also perhaps the most beautifully drawn character in the Disney canon. The animals are distracting and there are inconsistencies here and there with the storytelling (HOW ON EARTH CAN POCAHONTAS UNDERSTAND JOHN) but it feels like a movie with so much to say. (Grade: B+)

5. House M.D, Season 4:

Episode 1 “Alone”: A fascinating look at House’s head, as he struggles to do his job without a team. The twist at the end of the case is quite stunning and it features a lot of sharp dialogue. Too bad for the poor special effects at the beginnings. Overall, a satisfying beginner to a season (Grade: B+)

Episode 2 “The Right Stuff”: I love that we have so many new faces here, especially because they’re a volatile mix. House’s “hallucinations” of his old team is a fascinating sideline story but this is seriously all about making strong impressions for the new cast. (Grade: A)

Episode 3 “97 Seconds”: Amber continues to fascinate as a character and Forman continues to show just how boring the story gets when it strays away from House’s team. (Grade: B)

Episode 4 “Guardian Angels”: The competition keeps the story moving, even as the show tries to force Forman, Cameron, and Chase back into the show. I think it would have been a stronger show had the makers just let them go. (Grade: A)

Episode 6 “Whatever It Takes”: The CIA aspect is the best part about this episode because it’s always fun watching House bully doctors and woo another. The other patient storyline is interesting if only because the final twist is quite unsettling and unexpected. (Grade: A-)

Episode 7 “Ugly”: The episode is really poignant because of the ugly patient’s story. Nothing in the film is sentimentalized but one can easily sympathize for the patient. The documentary aspect is a bit gimmicky but it worked to bring some much needed humor into the episode. (Grade: A-)

Episode 8 “You Don’t Want to Know”. I was kind of bored with this episode’s case, but really fascinated by the character development going on among the fellows. House finally gets a case of lupus so way to go with ending that running gag (Grade: B-)

Episode 9 “Games”. Jeremy Renner before he became an Oscar nominee shows up as a rockstar. Otherwise, his case is not interesting. Again, the most interesting part of the episode are the fellows’ continued character arc. Also, what a great episode for Cutthroat Bitch. (Grade: B)