The last few weeks I watched The Simpsons Movie (2007), Premium Rush (2012), Life of Pi (2012), and Once (2007).
The Simpsons Movie
Better than expected, this longer form of a Simpsons episodes slows the pace down just enough to let the comedy breath. It's a little heavy in a story line where Marge is questioning whether they should stay married. This is a story line that gets played out a bit in episodes on TV and the quality of animation isn't much more advanced than the show either. It doesn't look bad, it's just that TV animation has become quite advanced over the last ten years. The difference is the pace of the jokes and the quality of those jokes. The Simpsons are going to Alaska? "The Simpsons are going to" trope runs its course but it's a worth while movie, just not great.
I had an interest in watching this again even after this project because the mixture of such a goofy story and interesting special effects captivated me in a way that stuck in my memory the last five years. Michael Shannon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have interesting performances but they aren't quite good enough for recognition because the whole damn movie is over the top.
Life of Pi
This is better on a second viewing after all these years, but a similar movie, The Jungle Book, has since upped the stakes for CGI heavy movies of nature. The story certainly gains when you know the reliability of the narrator. On the first viewing this movie completely failed to convey this unreliable narration until it was revealed at the end and it succeeded much better on second viewing by having this knowledge. While other movies have gone a little further with effects, they still look natural after five years.
Noms: Special effects.
Nice movie that holds back on exposition and character building at times. This holding back isn't necessarily a weakness because those story points leak out through the songs. This movie won the Oscar for best song and the music in the film is overall pretty good. It's a great sense of the creation of an album and the actors give the movie a unique feel with faces that, while not unattractive, aren't typical Hollywood beauties for men or women.
Noms: The music in the film.