Aloha yall, Tex Hula
In the movie AQUAMAN there's a scene where an octopus plays the drums. No, I'm not kidding, an octopus plays the drums. After the movie, I was talking with my girlfriend about it, and the conversation went like this:
Me: "I know I've seen an octopus playing the drums in a cartoon before I can't remember what though. THE FLINTSTONES, maybe?"
Her: "Maybe from THE LITTLE MERMAID?"
Me: "No, I've never seen THE LITTLE MERMAID."
Her: "What? You've never seen THE LITTLE MERMAID? We're watching it when we get home."
O.K., so let me explain. THE LITTLE MERMAID was released when I was seventeen. A seventeen-year-old guy isn't going to see an animated movie about a mermaid willingly. There were other things. Googling movie release dates I see several movies I saw in theaters while THE LITTLE MERMAID was playing like HARLEM NIGHTS, and of course BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II. When it was released on VHS, I know my youngest sister had it, but I never really had the interest to watch it. And I've never had kids. So today I watched it and here's a review thirty years late.
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Under the sea! Under the sea! Oh god, how long until this song gets out of my head? I've heard it plenty of times before, in commercials, and random clips. But watching it in the context of the movie, when Sebastian the crab is trying to show Ariel how life underwater is so much better makes all the difference.
Of course, I loved it. As soon as the beautiful 2D animation started, I was hooked (yay puns). I was surprised by how much this movie looks like classic Disney animation. Classic as in their 1940's work. The opening title sequence especially. I knew about a lot of things before seeing this. I knew characters, like Ariel. I knew she made a pact with the octopus lady to give up her voice. I don't know how I knew these things. Probably seeing clips, and hearing people talk about it. But the movie still managed to surprise me. I loved the kitchen song and fight between Sabastian the crab and the French chef. I loved the third act when Ursula, takes a sexy human form and tries marrying the Disney prince.
Anyways, I'm glad I watched it. I'm especially happy I saw it before Disney does the live action bullshit with it.
Oh, and there was an octopus playing drums in it.
DC fans have nothing to worry about. This movie's going to make a buttload of cash, and have sequels. I'm hoping for a sequel. But did I like it? I enjoyed it despite its problems.
I like Jason Momoa's, Arthur Curry. I like a beer drinking, bar hopping superhero. I loved Black Manta, he had a really good set up, but he's not in the movie that long. One of the main reasons I want a sequel is to see Black Manta as head villain leading an army of pirates against the Atlantians.
There are two action sequences that are really great. First one is right off the bat in a submarine pirated by Black Manta and his dad. This movie has a great first thirty minutes if it could've kept its momentum I would be raving about this movie. The second is in Italy, a fun rooftop chase and fight in the middle of the movie. This section of the film reminds me of Stephen Sommer's THE MUMMY.
And as for the bad, the movie does have some cringey dialog. Also, the film could have cut some fat off the runtime, it lags and definitely needed tightening up. Aside from Black Manta, the characters are pretty thin. As badass and invested in this as Jason Momoa is, all AQUAMAN wants is not to be king. But we all know what's going to happen. Yeah, it's all a little predictable too.
One thing I would like to see in these mythical kingdom movies like AQUAMAN, THOR, and BLACK PANTHER is some character development on the kingdoms themselves, instead of just the royal infighting. Could we just get a ten-minute scene of characters going about their day to day routines? Probably too late for Asgard though.
So DC is back on track, AQUAMAN isn't as good as WONDER WOMAN, but it's better than the others. See it and double feature AQUAMAN with THE LITTLE MERMAID as I did.