The Book of Life

2014

Action / Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family / Fantasy / Horror / Musical / Romance

451
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 57958

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 648,825 times
January 07, 2015 at 01:22 PM

Cast

Christina Applegate as Mary Beth
Channing Tatum as Joaquin
Zoe Saldana as Maria
Ron Perlman as Xibalba
3D.BLU 720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.44 GB
1920*1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S 5 / 14
753.29 MB
1280*720
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S 2 / 14
1.44 GB
1920*1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S 7 / 68

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rgkarim 9 / 10

Fantastic Halloween Fun! Superb Animation

It's October and it is usually the time for Halloween themed movies. Unfortunately for us, Halloween has been reduced to cheap horrors, or repetitive thrillers that are a bit of a bore. This year has been slightly different, but this reviewer would like the studios to go back in the past and pull some more seasonal themes to entertain us. Well, someone got my vibe, because my last review is on a film that captures the festive fun that Halloween is for the young and young at heart. So sit back my friends and catch my latest review on the animated feature The Book of Life.

I'll start this review with talking about the story. The Book of Life has a fantastic tale that centers on the typical complication of a love triangle between characters Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoe Saldana), and Joaquin (Channing Tatum). Now we know the typical elements involved in this type of plot, but this film deviates from the typical and gives a little more pep around the story. From the start you get the backstory on each character, and the individual struggles they each face. Then they take these qualities and exploit them by bringing in the two masters of the underworld, who make a wager as to who will win the girl. The result of this wager, makes for an interesting romantic tale that is fun, emotional, and more realistic than half the dramas we get these days. However, the movie does not stop there, instead it ties in an adventure and blends it into all the aspects, making for a fun film. Once more, the whole tale revolves around the Mexican celebration of the day of the dead, bringing a unique take on the classic Halloween tale and providing a little education as well.

The story isn't the only thing influenced by the Mexican culture though, the artistic style of the movie is also heavily influenced. The Book of Life is sort of a modern day Nightmare Before Christmas where CGI takes the place of stop motion animation. Many of the elements are similar, with the skeletons and landscapes sharp and angular to mirror the darkness of the afterlife. However, unlike Tim Burton, this director chose to liven things up a little by veering from the dark colors and adding wide splashes of colorful. This is not only to catch your eyes, but also to mirror the celebration that Day of the Dead is about and that life doesn't end as long as you are remembered. In the Underworld especially the color comes out, and the festivities are brought to full fold in the magical realm of the dead. Deep in the land of the Forgotten, the oblivion of elimination is presented by a frozen cavern where hope is nonexistent. Regardless, the worlds are diverse and fun, filled with ancient Central American influences that were a welcomed change. Even the characters have pizazz to them, each main character standing out in their own unique way. I in particular liked the Queen of the underworld, impressed with the blend of partying, happy, and death all wrapped into one package. The ruler of the Forgotten Land, was also of unique design, sharp, dark edges in shades of purple, neon green, and crimson to portray the darkness of his soul.

What else makes this movie fun? The next aspect is the comedy, which for the most part is well timed and well delivered. There isn't much unique writing or witty humor in this movie, but more in how it is delivered. Countless puns are shouted in ridiculous voices, often followed by a character face planting into an object. What's even better is that the comedy is also diverse and spread out instead of following the typical style of beating a joke to death, the exception being Joaquin's obsession with mustaches. In addition to the comedy, the music also brings some thing to the film. Most of the numbers are covers of famous songs, some done horribly to be funny and others that are very relevant to the plot. A couple of the original numbers made my emotions go on a ride, as happiness, sadness, and even love all came together in the instruments and voice. Now most won't find it as powerful as Frozen, but for this reviewer it was nice having the music around the movie, not the opposite way around. Aside from the singing, the voice acting is incredible, each of the cast capturing the essence of the stereotypical Mexican character. Now there are too many to write about so let me pick my three favorites. First is Christina Applegate, the girl has got sass, spunk, and compassion all at work in her tour guide character. The girls sells the story as she uses the wooden puppets, which are represented in the character design, to craft the tale, keeping the kids in line, and yet showing empathy. Then there was Zoe Saldana who has the feisty Mexican girl zest that shows everyone girls don't need men to save them. Her voice is suave and full of passion, and exactly the buffer needed amidst the rowdy, rough voices of the cast. Finally the Queen of the Dead was my favorite character, and Kate del Castillo does a nice job bringing the character to life with flare, kindness, and the ability to hold her own.

What can you take away from my sporadic rambling? The Book of Life is one of the better animated films I've seen in a while. It's Halloween fun, with colorful worlds and characters that balance out the predictable and limited tale. I strongly recommend seeing this movie in theaters, possibly in 3-D. I haven't had this much fun at the movies in quite some time, and I believe most will enjoy the adventure at hand. My scores for this film are:

Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 9.5 Movie Overall: 9.0

Reviewed by Animated Antic 8 / 10

A flawed, but still fun film.

If there is something I love in an animated movie, it's a story that takes us to other worlds and lets audiences dive into the cultures of foreign countries. It's always nice to see audiences learning about peoples traditions around the world. So, I'll be happy to say that you might enjoy "The Book of Life". However, I'll just say that this movie has flaws. A lot of them. Some of them actually did annoy me to the point where I began to think that I would hate the film overall. Luckily, that was not the case. I'll get to why this movie has some problems in a little bit, but first let me tell you the story of the film.

As a bunch of students from a school are given a secret museum tour, the tour lady begins to tell them the tale revolving around the Book of Life. It revolves around two boys named Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquín (Channing Tatum) trying to win the hand of the lovely girl María (Zoe Saldana) unaware that the boys are actually part of a bet made by the spirits who rule the Land of the Remembered and Forgotten respectively, La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlman). Though both tries to get her hand, neither seems to succeed due to the problems of their families. However, when an incident involving María seems to get her killed, Manolo decides that he wants to see her with all his heart, unaware that he will be accidentally sent to the Land of the Remembered by Xibalba. After discovering the wager and realizes that Xibalba cheated, Manolo swears to try to get back to the Land of the Living in order to protect the village from an incoming danger which I won't spoil.

At first when the film started, I will admit that I wasn't exactly getting into the film. Though its story had started with promise, some annoying moments which will be brought up in a bit really were getting on my nerves. However, when our lead gets to the Land of the Remembered, the film really picked up its pace and became both exciting and funny. I loved how much creativity was put into the movie and the cultural elements that were put into the movie though I feel that some elements could have been treated with more respect which is strange considering this is from a Mexican director with help from famed director Guilllelmo del Toro. As for it's animation, this was definitely the highlight of the movie. It's absolutely beautiful. There was so much color and life put into it leading to some very eye-popping moments. As for the characters, they have some charm to them. I think my favorite character in the movie was Maria. I loved how she actually had some toughness put into her and Zoe Saldana really put a lot of edge to her making her very relatable. Now let's get to my problems. One was the music choice. Considering this film is set in Mexico, there were some weird moments were music like Ode to Joy and Carmen were played and just left me scratching my head. Some of the humor at the beginning was also a little immature and did annoy me though it heavily improved when we got to the Land of the Remembered. I also feel that the film won't be timeless. For example, Maira states while she was in Europe she took fencing lessons which made sense, though later during the climax, she also says she learned kung fu. Wait, hold on a second. Kung fu? Where did that come from? Elements like that made no sense. However, what really annoyed me about the film were the song choices. Throughout the movie they put in some mariachi covers of songs like "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons and even "Creep" by Radiohead. I mean seriously? Who in the world wants to hear a mariachi cover of Creep? I really don't know who and in all honestly don't want to know. That's really all the flaws I had.

"The Book of Life" does have a lot of problems, but luckily the film did improve and allowed me to give this film a recommendation. Though the story does have a slow start, it does improve and it's animation is definitely what makes it worth watching. When you watch it though, just be prepared to sit through a few less than stellar moments.

Reviewed by Daniel Dell 8 / 10

An underrated film

I personally love this film. It was really good. Not only does it capture the Day of the Dead very well, but it is both funny AND emotional. No wonder Reel FX learned after the disaster they caused with Free Birds.

I think Jorge R. Gutierrez must've been influenced by Don Bluth and/or even John R. Dilworth when it comes to making this film, and that is awesome.

I love the animation, the characters, the humor, the acting, a lot of things in this movie are really good.

I even enjoyed the song "No Matter Where You Are". Even my mom loved this film. I find Manolo a very likable character.

I highly recommend this film if you're looking for an animated Day of the Dead film, other than Disney and Pixar's Coco.

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