Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. When I began as a film critic, Jean-Luc Godard was widely thought to have reinvented the cinema with "Breathless" (1960).
A collaboration between fledgling Reel FX Creative Studios and 20th Century Fox, “The Book of Life” is a rare cartoon feature that doesn’t just deserve to be seen in 3-D, but practically demands it. From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes the computer animated fantasy, The Book of Life starring Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Kate del Castillo, Ron Perlman, and Ice Cube. Xibalba (Ron Perlman) and La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) make the ultimate wager over the Land of the Remembered. The Book of Life takes place in the three fantasy realms of the Land of the Living, The Land of the Remembered, and the Land of the Forgotten. One thing that makes The Book of Life so entertaining is that the movie does a fantastic job explaining all the details. The Book of Life is filled with an all-star cast of actors and actresses lending their voices to give the characters personality. The Book of Life is a fun and charming family movie about love, friendship, and courage that celebrates Mexican culture and the Day of the Dead holiday in the same way Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is an homage to Halloween.
FatMovieGuy uses third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. October 7, 2014 By SarahDo you want to see a free screening of THE BOOK OF LIFE before it hits theaters?
THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village. The trailer for the upcoming 3-D animated film from Mexican director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro was released last week and promises to take audiences through an afterlife filled with vibrant and colorful characters.
The twist comes when the gods of the dead wager on who Maria will end up marrying and Manolo is forced to face his own fear of leaving behind his family’s bullfighting legacy to play the guitar.
The film comes with a star-studded voice cast including Danny Trejo, Hector Elizondo, Placido Domingo, Kate del Castillo, Ana de la Reguera, Cheech Marin, Christina Applegate, Gabriel Iglesias and more. The movie was born out of Gutierrez’s deep connection with Mexico’s Day of the Dead, celebrated Nov. After 14 years of trying to get the film made, Gutierrez joined forces with compatriot Guillermo del Toro to bring his vision to life. But instead of being gaga for ghoulishness, this Mexican fiesta of animated splendor is packed with visual delights far more sunny than sinister as they burst forth as if flung from an over-packed pinata. Complementing the eye candy is a quirkily eclectic soundtrack, including catchy new songs by award-winning score writer Gustavo Santaolalla and Paul Williams of “The Rainbow Connection” fame, and a wide-ranging voice cast.
You will receive a weekly newsletter full of movie-related tidbits, articles, trailers, even the occasional streamable movie. Is this movie that takes place during the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Mexican holiday, a fun adventure for the whole family or should you just save your money and keep the kids at home? The only thing I know about the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is from playing the point and click adventure video game, Grim Fandango.
If you somewhat compare these places to Earth, Heaven, and Hell, then you’ll be able to follow along with the concepts of the story. You do not have to have a college degree in Mexican folklore to appreciate the story and characters.
Diego Luna is Manolo, Zoe Saldana is Maria, Channing Tatum is Joaquin, and Ice Cube is the Candle Maker.


Compared to other animated movies this year, it’s not as hilarious as The Lego Movie or heartfelt like How to Train Your Dragon 2, but it is still filled with tons of imagination and charm. It’s absolutely gorgeous to look at and is entertaining for both children and adults.
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After the screening come down to Park Meadows Mall for THE BOOK OF LIFE Halloween Carnival! The matador soon finds himself in the magical Land of the Remembered, where people who have lived fulfilling lives go after they die, and later in the Land of the Forgotten, where the dead who hadn’t realized their dreams end up.
1-2, and much of the animation is stylized by the masks and figures that are synonymous with its celebration.
30, 2013 photo, artist Luis Castillo poses for a photo in a costume he designed and says is a representation of death, during a contest for the best Day of the Dead altars sponsored by a local university in Mexico City. The Land of the Living includes the small town of San Angel, Mexico, which according to the Book of Life, is the center of the universe. They are inseparable, but unbeknownst to Maria; Joaquin and Manolo are madly in love with her. I was most impressed with Diego Luna, because not only did he have to learn multiple lines of a script, he also had to sing.
The movie starts off a bit slow as to set up the story and characters, but it finishes super strong throughout the second act until the grand finale. There will be complimentary face painting, caricature artists, cookie decorating and lots more!
Though not everyone the director spoke to about the film understood tthe true meaning of the holiday.
Elaborate altars are erected inside homes around the region to remember loved ones who have died, decorated with photographs, candles, flowers, skeleton figurines, sugar skulls and sometimes the favorite food and drink of the dearly departed. Our main hero, the tender-hearted Manola (Diego Luna, whose boyish vocals are a constant source of plaintive pleasure), comes from a long line of legendary bullfighters and is skilled in the ring himself. The Land of the Remembered is a happy place that’s colorful and festive, especially on the Day of the Dead. Once you meet Manolo and Joaquin, it’s really predictable who Maria ends up marrying, but its still a fun journey. If you love holiday mythology movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas or even Rise of the Guardians, then The Book of Life is definitely worth taking the family to. Another thing I’ve noticed, is that he is super proud of his heritage and has a passion to tell the tales of his nationality.
The story is actually told in modern times by a museum tour guide voiced by Christina Applegate. The music reminded me of how movies like Shrek used Top 40 songs to add fun and personality to the scenes. The boastful Joaquin (Channing Tatum, who taps into his abundant reserve of amusing swagger) is a man of action, a mucho-macho mustachioed bandit-rustler with a broad chest crammed with medals.They both pursue Maria, the smart and headstrong daughter of the general who runs their village of San Angel. As executive producer of The Book of Life, del Toro was able to work with director Jorge Gutierrez and a staff of amazingly skilled computer animators and technicians to bring to life his love letter to Mexican Culture and the Day of the Dead holiday in much the same sense that Tim Burton was able to celebrate goth and Halloween with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
She is dressed in native Mexican attire that makes her look like a beautiful Flamenco dancer and her face is painted like the beautiful sugar skulls that are synonymous with the holiday. She explains to some rambunctious children on a field trip exactly what the Book of Life is and introduces the characters as little wooden dolls.


She has all the usual attributes of the typical empowered animated female lead – a bookworm with martial-arts fighting skills and all that -- but is lucky enough to be blessed with the vivacious vocal spark of Avatar’s Zoe Saladana.The Book of Life’s multi-tiered plot also involves dueling married deities who reign over separate domains in the afterlife and decide to make a wager.
It’s not going to be easy for Manolo, because Xilbalba have given Joaquin a magical medal that makes him invulnerable and courageous.
As she becomes the narrator of the film, the dolls come to life in their own worlds like Mexican Pinocchios on the big screen. The movie isn’t a musical like Frozen or Tangled, but it is filled with quite a lot of music. La Muerte (well-known telenovela star Kate del Castillo), who oversees the cheery Land of the Remembered and believes in the decency of mortals, bets that sensitive soul Manolo will win Maria’s hand.
The Land of the Forgotten is ruled by the sinister Xibalba who is voiced by del Toro regular, Ron Perlman. This is how the movie not only celebrates the holiday, but also becomes a romantic fairy tale based on Mexican Mythology.
The movie is absolutely gorgeous to watch, especially as the characters travel to the different realms.
Channing Tatum didn’t do an awful job voicing Joaquin, however, he sounded like a white guy trying to be  Mexican. Xiabalba (Ron Perlman, a pet actor of the film’s producer, Guillermo del Toro), a devious sort who rules the dour Land of the Forgotten, backs the vain Joaquin.Xiabalba fools Manolo into entering The Land of the Remembered to seek Maria, when it turns out she has only fallen into a “Sleeping Beauty”-style slumber.
He rules over the souls of people that if you haven’t already guessed, are forgotten by the loved ones on Earth. After misfortune sends one of the main characters to the Land of the Remembered, the movie switches from romantic tale into folklore fantasy. It wasn’t horrible, but I think actors like Javier Bardem or even Benicio Del Toro would have made for a more authentic character. In order to return to The Land of the Living himself, Manolo must undergo a series of challenges involving his colorful ancestors. The movie then begins to then feel like you’re watching a really cool video game with elaborate level designs and brutal boss battles. Other notable actors in the cast are Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Gabriel Iglesias, Hector Elizondo, and Placido Domingo.
Meanwhile, San Angel is being threatened by the fearsome bandit Chakal (whose metallic monster form feels like a del Toro invention) and his gang of nasty thieves.A three-way romance, multiple worlds, numerous feats, combative gods, a monstrous foe – all these layers make for a rather dense confection.
All three locations are filled with amazing architecture and flair that give The Book of Life a look like you’ve never seen. From a chorus of angelic singing nuns and hirsute town elders whose protruding snouts recall the hippie era’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers to pigs-gone-wild mayhem and a tipsy mariachi trio who slur their way through Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and Biz Markie’s “I’m Just a Friend,” “The Book of Life” isn’t afraid to catch us off guard. When a forlorn Manolo, abandoned by the townsfolk after refusing to kill a bull in the ring, starts to wail Radiohead’s “Creep,” you could hear teen girls at my screening yelp in joyful recognition. But Guiterrez even goes a step beyond, as “The Book of Life” personifies the philosophy that drives The Day of the Dead and encourages a healthy way to celebrate those who are gone. As he puts it, “As long as you remember those who came before you, and as long as you tell their stories, cook their dishes, and sing their songs  … they’re with you.
They live inside your heart.”And this filmmaker’s heart definitely beats inside this impressive debut.



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