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The New Serg Beret

Talking and Writing About Cinema Since 2012

Month

August 2016

Lyrics: “Endings”

This is where it ends now
The story is wrapped up and done
No one left and no one won

It is here, open ended
Bridges burnt, friends unfriended
The book ends with no closure
Only anger, grief, acceptance and exposure

The ocean horizon’s crystal clear
Yes, it’s empty without you here
But I’ll learn to survive
And eventually revive
Then it can continue to go

This is where it ends now
The story is wrapped up and done
No one left and no one won

It is here, on the beach now
Seeing stars crashing down
Piercing into clouds
New goals now to come abound

The ocean horizon’s crystal clear
Yes, I’m greater without you here
But I need someone to revive
Eventually after I survive
Then it can continue to go

This is where it ends now
The story is wrapped up and done
No one left and no one won

Until the epilogue.

Lyrics: “Moving/Fading”

Moving

Gathered all my things here
So I can go to another home
I’ll move further from you
There’s no need to cry, no need to cry

You showed me all you colors, all false hues
Saturated our path
Drowning out the past, no need to last

Moving on so you can’t see
What I’ll become or
Who I’ll be
I’ll get through today
I’ll best be on my way

Taking all the memories
So I can lock them away
I’ll move further from you
There’s no need to hide, no need to hide

You showed me all your figures, all synthetic types
Blocking our roads
Disposing out our past, too tragic to last

Moving on so you can’t see
What I’ll become or
Who I’ll be
I’ll get through today
Moving on so I can be
Everything I aspire to be
I’ll get through today
I’ll best be on my way

Fading

There is disappointment
In the eyes of our mutual friends
A long bond broken
They thought would never end
But you melt all the bonds that
Kept it stable
And pushed me to the background
To fade on and on, on and on

Fading away is all
I have for me
I’ll be a remnant of your life
A ghost in your membrane
Fading into silence
A figment of time
I’ll be a stained glass reminder
With images of what you left to die

Been months of wailing
Now all sudden sighs
Of relief that I prayed for
Oh, it’s grand to be alive
My future is closer, yours further behind
I’m a new voice in your head space
Whispering in and out, in and out

Fading away is all
I have for me
I’ll be a remnant of your life
A ghost in your membrane
Fading out into silence
A figment of time
I’ll be a stained glass reminder
With images of what you left to die

Lyrics: “Piercing Words”

Those words, they pierce the skin
I can’t deny that I tried to hide them
Those scars you made, the bruises internal
I misjudged my reach and fell in front of you
For you to stand tall, kick me down and make me suffer

Piercing words, that’s all they are
They will not mean a thing
Not to them, not to you
Only poor me

I wanted to comfort you, hold you
Protect you and guide you
But you grabbed my honor, my heart
And my creed
Broken down and worn out into pieces
And now I collapse on the floor
Happiness out the door

Piercing words, that’s all they are
They will not mean a thing
Not to them, not to you or anyone
Only for a simpleton that is me

Serg Beret’s 15 Favorite WWE Matches

Ahh, professional wrestling, where would we be without you? Devastated, that’s what. The WWE (or the WWF back in the day) brought the world its first glimpse of the greatness that is pre-determined sports to the masses from the Rock n’ Wrestling Connection, the Attitude Era and the modern New Era. It has its fair share of great highs and bottom of the barrel lows. It’s a showcase unlike any other and a master class in live theater.

Fortunately, in this article, I am willing to share my 15 favorite matches in the history of WWE so far. These 15 aren’t necessarily the best, though few are considered the best. These are my personal favorites that stand out among the thousands (and thousands!) of matches delivered throughout the history of the company. Let’s ring the bell for tonight in thie very ring, I rundown my 15 favorite WWE matches of all time.

15. The Undertaker vs.Mankind, King of the Ring (1998) – Hell in a Cell

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As God as My Witness: The Undertaker pins Mick Foley after a brutal match at King of the Ring 1998 (Source: WWE)

Everything about this match has been said before. The crazy spots including Mick Foley falling from the cell onto a table to the unplanned spot of the cell collapsing under the weight of Foley and Undertaker, combined with the infamous “Bah Gawd” calls of Jim Ross, this match is a match that is memorable more for those spots than the wrestling. It’s a wrestling match with a limited number of wrestling and was meant to put on a spectacle and nothing more, and it’s brilliant. The shot of Mick Foley’s face bleeding with his tongue sticking out of an open wound will always be a beautiful memory.

14. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn, NXT Takeover: Dallas (2016) – Singles Match

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King of Strong Style: Shinsuke Nakamura kicks Sami Zayn in the head during a second rope dive at NXT Takeover Dallas (Source: WWE)

Sami Zayn, one of the hottest babyface characters on NXT, was set to hit the main roster at Wrestlemania 32 in a ladder match for the Intercontiential Title. Yet, Zayn wanted a new challenge for all his hard work in NXT before leaving. Insert Shinsuke Nakamura, one of the hottest Japanese wrestlers in New Japan Pro Wrestling, to take up the call and what follows is damn near perfection. In a beautiful display of wrestling at its finest, these two men met in a match filled with showboating, power moves, psychology beyond compare and Nakamura kicking the ever-loving shit out of Zayn in the head as he went for his signature dive through the ropes. Even better, it’s the only WWE match known to create a new chant: “Fight forever!”

13. John Cena vs. CM Punk, Money in the Bank (2011) – WWE Championship

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A Goodnight Kiss: CM Punk leaves Chicago and the WWE with the Championship, kissing bye to Vince at Money in the Bank 2011 (Source: WWE)

The face that runs the place versus the best in the world is a feud like no other. We have a strong face that is the ideal wrestling superstar up against a boastful jerk ass that knows what he is capable of. In a bit of real life kicking in, CM Punk’s contract was due to end on the night the two men would face in Punk’s hometown of Chicago and Punk wanted to walk out champion taking away Vince McMahon’s prized company belt with him. Cena was due to give him his shot at the title despite this and the rest was a hell of a night in the Chi. Filled with tension and genuine emotion, the two went at it in a masterclass match in wrestling. The audience even got a classic ending of Punk running away with the title from Vince McMahon and Mr. Money in the Bank Alberto Del Rio by kissing both of them goodbye.

12. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Wrestlemania X-Seven (2001) – WWF Championship

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Not A Bang, But A Chairshot: Stone Cold Steve Austin hits The Rock with a chair given by longtime rival Vince McMahon for the win at Wrestlemania X-Seven (Source: WWE)

In their second face off, we had two men at the top of their game. Both were considered the best wrestlers at the time, they brought in the big bucks for the company and were faces everyone loved. One was the People’s Champ ready to defend after beating Kurt Angle for the title at No Mercy. The other was a Texas Rattlesnake ready to make a comeback and was practically hoping to reclaim his top spot in the company after winning a record third Royal Rumble in the world for the chance. The two got in the ring and went to town on each other with a barrage of finishers, blood abound and tensions flaring. It wasn’t until the infamous ending in which Austin turned heel in front of a packed Texas crowd by shaking hands with arch rival Vince McMahon. It was the end of the Attitude Era.

11. Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens, Beast in the East (2015) – NXT Championship

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KO Prince: Kevin Owens delivers a series of blows to a downed Finn Balor at Beast in the East (Source: WWE)

WWE launched the WWE Network in 2014 to bring about wrestling to the masses for the digital age and create a new place to show more of what they were capable of bringing. When it was announced they would be broadcasting live from Japan in an exclusive house show called Beast in the East, the E decided to bring back Prince Devitt, now known as Finn Balor, back to his playground to take on rude and brutish NXT Champion Kevin Owens. As the new Demon King, Balor came to face to face with Owens in a brutal display of pure wrestling. Indie spots galore as Coup de Grace and rolling Senton bombs reigned supreme along with general shit talking from Owens until Balor got the best of him. Brock Lesnar was not the only Beast in the East that night as Balor and his demon proved themselves.

10. 30-Man Royal Rumble Match for the WWF Championship, Royal Rumble 1992

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With A Tear in His Eye: Ric Flair in the middle of his promo holding his new WWF Championship after winning the Royal Rumble 1992 (Source: WWE)

In an excruciating match for the now vacant WWF championship, a battle of wit, brains, brawn awaited those who entered the ring. From the likes of The Undertaker, Sid Justice, Hulk Hogan and The Warlord, one man was destined to go the distance at number two: The Nature Boy Ric Flair. The match is filled with great moments such as the ending in which Hulk Hogan and Sid Juctice go at it, Ric keeping his composure and eventually, Ric winning and cuting arguably the greatest post-match promo of all time. It truly is a spectacle to see and adds to the legend of Ric Flair’s jet-flyin’, limousine ridin’ legacy.

9. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H, No Way Out 2001 – Three Stages of Hell

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No Chance in Hell: Stone Cold Steve Austin runs Triple H’s head against a barbed wire bat during stage two of the Three Stages of Hell at No Way Out 2001 (Source: WWE)

Stone Cold vowed to chase the WWF Championship, but needed to end one roadblockin his way : Triple H, who hired Rikishi to hit him with a car and sideline the rattlesnake for over a year (dumb storyline, but that’s not important). The men vowed not to share blows till No Way Out, until Stone Cold costed Triple H the title at the Royal Rumble 2001.Luckily, Three Stages of Hell awaited both of them in a match with Austin winning the first stage of straight up wrestling and Triple H winning the next two stages in a street fight and a steel cage. It is a brutal battle and a hell of a step to Austin turning heel at X-Seven.

8. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, NXT Takeover Brooklyn (2015), NXT Women’s Championship

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She’s A Hugger: Bayley puts Sasha Banks in a crossface to submit at NXT Takeover Brooklyn (Source: WWE)

Here is the only women’s match on the list and the reason is not that women have had horrible matches, far from it. The reason is because this is an absolute classic from start to finish. Sasha Banks, the Boss herself, has been heeling it up with the title with adorable babyface Bayley looking to capture the gold. Bayley has tried to reach the top to be with the other three horsewomen (Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte), only to be constantly pushed down. In a stroke of luck, she finally goes up against the champ at arguably NXT biggest PPV an gives the crowd the match of their lives. Filled with false finishes, straight heel tactics and the triumph of friends, Bayley ended up beating Banks for the title and was now officially on top.

7. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania XXX (2014) – Winner Goes to the Main Event

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Kicking the King’s Crown: Daniel Bryan delivers a kick to the head to Triple H

There are many Daniel Bryan matches I can choose: Bryan vs. Cena at SummerSlam 2013, Bryan vs. The Miz for the United States title, the underrated Bryan vs. Regal match on RAW, but this match takes it for me. Here we have the underdog Bryan that has been screwed over time and again out of a title shot against Triple H,a man who has been given every opportunity to be a champion and now a figure head of the company. These two could not be anymore different, but their styles clashed perfectly in a story line match for Bryan to finally get his shot again. Bryan’s injured shoulder came into play and Triple H hitting a tiger suplex (for the first time ever) at one point to tell their story. Bryan succeeded after a successful running knee, went to the main event, and the rest, well, is history.

6. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania 25 (2009), The Streak on the Line

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Flipping for the Streak: Shawn Michaels jumps off the top turnbuckle to drop The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 (Source: WWE)

Everyone and their mother chooses this match and they damn well have every right to because this is a classic. Shawn Michaels,the religious god loving man, is ready for battle against the Deadman himself , The Undertaker, in an incredible good vs. evil match. The tension throughout is palpable with Undertaker delivering a Tombstone and pin, just for Michaels to kick out leaving Taker absolutely dumbfounded. The back and forth in this match and the psychology behind it is amazing as the match goes on. Even with Michaels losing in the end, he succeeded in giving the Deadman and run for his money and his troubles in a match that stands the test of time.

5. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Wrestlemania III (1987) – Intercontinental Championship

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Cup of Coffee in the Big Time “Macho Man” Randy Savage reaches for the sky as Ricky Steamboat looks to capture Intercontinental gold at Wrestlemania III (Source: WWE)

Another classic that everyone chooses, this is a technical marvel. Ricky Steamboat, a true babyface title chaser ready to give his all against the big and egotistical “Macho Man.” Savage constantly called out Steamboat and only said that this was his “Cup of coffee” in the big time. Steamboat, on the other hand, was ready to prove himself in the ring…and he did. The match gives so many false finishes, to would think Return of the King was short on them. Reversals, roll-ups, dodged moves, psychology abound, it was a match for the ages with one hell of a surprise finish. The respect these two have by the end is a perfect cap to an already outstanding match.

4. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins, Royal Rumble (2015) – Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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The Beast, The Architect and the Hustle: Seth Rollins goes for an elbow drop on Brock Lesnar through an announce table as Cena watches in pain at the Royal Rumble 2015

Three of the biggest wrestlers currently today stepped foot into a ring on an otherwise mediocre PPV and tore the house down. The face that runs the place John Cena was seeking vengeance against then-champion Lesnar for nearly killing him at SummerSlam the year prior. Rollins, a former face now the Authority’s lobby boy, cost Cena a true opportunity aginst Lesnar at Night of Champions trying to cash his Money in the Bank contract. The result months after was this triple threat match that was nothing short of badass. Lesnar hitting Rollins and Cena with powerful F5s and Rollins performing an incredible Pheonix Splash onto Cena are only a few highlights from a strenous and fantastic match with three great workers and helped Rollins become a true main event superstar.

3. Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Wrestlemania 13 (1997) – Submission Match

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Execution of Excellence: Bret “The Hitman” Hart hits his signature Sharpshooter on Stone Cold Steve Austin as he screams in pain at Wrestlemania 13 (Source: WWE)

The face Bret Hart against the heel Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 13 is a story for the ages. Hart was losing steam in the game as Stone Cold was becoming white hot. After a vicious fued and name calling, the two would come face to face in a submission match, much to Austin’s surprise (in reality, Austin had no idea that was the match type till he entered the arena). The next half hour or so would be a brutal bloodbath with Stone Cold giving his all against a beyond chaotic and mad Hart. Austin passed out in a pool of blood trying to break free from the Sharpshooter as Bret looked onto the crowd. What makes this match is the crowd decide to do something incredible: they turn on Hart by the end for seeing his heel ways and Austin, a survivor through and through, becomes face. The greatest double turn in history is now in the books.

2. The Dudley Boys vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian, Wrestlemania X-Seven (2001) – TLC II

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Prepare to Launch: Edge prepares to Spear Jeff Hardy from the Tag Titles at Wrestlemania X-Seven (Source: WWE)

This is te greatest spotfest of all time and arguably one of the best TLC match of all time. Three of the hottest tag teams finally decided to go toe-to-toe in the second TLC match (tables, ladders and chairs) in history on the biggest stage of wrestling. How does it play out? In a maddening symphony of run-ins, destruction and balls to the walls chaos. Just to add to the chaos are the run-ins from the allies with Lita (Hardyz), Little Spike Dudley (Dudleys) and Rhyno (E&C). And just when the match couldn’t get better, Edge hits Jeff Hardy with a spear from a ladder as Jeff dangles from the belts. That spot alone makes this match go from spotfest to all time classic.

1. Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog, SummerSlam (1992) – Intercontinental Championship

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No Bull in This Bulldog: The British Bulldog grabs his hard fought Intercontinental  Championship with a anguish Bret Hart looking on (Source: WWE)

This match is a match I never tire of watching. The stage was set for these two to go at it for the Intercontinental title with British Bulldog ready to win in front of his native London crowd at Wembley Stadium. Champion Bret was frustrated with Bulldog saying he won’t know Bret in the ring despite being new family by marrying Bret’s sister Diana. These two met in a packed stadium on a gorgeous night in Britain and put on a show. These tow showed technical prowess, fast paced styles, flying action and tension as Diana looked at her husband and her brother fight for the title. With false finishes and submissions abound, it was a classic battle of wits, styles and family. In the end, Bulldog got his moment in the sun with the title in his hand. Davey Boy was apparently high throughout the match and forget the spots, leading Bret to guide him and pull off a miracle. The best part is this was the main event over the WWF Championship between Ultimate Warrior and “Macho Man” Randy Savage to capitalize on the popularity of the British Bulldog and wrestling in general. It’s a stellar match combining all the admiration of the fans, the spirit of storytelling and the showcase that is professional wrestling.

Look Who’s Back: Ashley VanPevenage, Remember Meme?

Imagine waking up one day to millions of hate comments making you feel like the ugliest girl on the planet? Meet 21 year-old Ashley VanPevenage. She may be best known for her cruel meme that was shared over 6 million times globally. VanPevenage is now taking her negative  experience to the next level by starting an anti cyberbullying campaign called  #CureTheHate. Her goal is to put an end to cyber bullying and cruelty based coments on appearance.

VanPevenage has recently become the advocate of  the “Roast Me”trend, the latest cyberbullying trend in which young women ridicule young males online until they “crack.” VanPevenage is working to to break the cycle of any form of cyberbullying.

#CureTheHate has partnered with the Tyler Clementi Foundation and Curology.com, to raise awareness of the cruelty seen in the modern reality of the web. The campaign’s other goal is to bring awareness to acne shaming once and for all.

VanPevanage herself was the subject of a cruel meme on Twitter after a user took an image of her off Instagram. “In January of 2015, a friend of mine who runs a makeup Instagram account (@MakeupByDreigh) asked to do my makeup.  I was having an allergic reaction to Benzyl Peroxide at the time and I knew I needed help covering my acne,” VanPenvanage said.

VanPevanage’s before and after image posted on Instagram was made into a meme months later via Twitter user @VirtuallyVivi tweeted it out. In a tweet stating “I don’t understand how people can do this and I can’t figure out how to conceal a single pimple on my face,” the meme went viral with over a million shares and different hateful spins on the image.

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Virtually Viral: The meme begins to spread across the Twittersphere. Source: Buzzfeed, Topsy

“There were hundreds of thousands of shares and horrible comments all shaming me for my acne and appearance. I think the most popular hate comment was “this is the reason you have to take a bitch swimming on the first date,” VanPevanage said.

VanPenvanage’s confidence began to wane due to the meme until she decided to respond back in a YouTube video tiitled “My Response to My Viral Meme,” which again went viral with over 1 million views. VanPevenage takes a look at individual comments by Facebook users and delivers her two cents on the situation.

“People’s opinions don’t matter to me and they shouldn’t matter to anyone,” VanPevenage said. “Everyone should feel beautiful in their natural skin. It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside of your face. The only thing that matters is who you really are.”

VanPevenage eventually spread the #CureTheHate message after Buzzfeed featured her story in an article. The message continue to spread via partnerships with YouTube personalities such as Michelle Phan on her show “Pillow Talk” and beauty guru Jordan Cheyenne.  VanPevenage also recieved support on her story on MTV’s “Girl Code” and eventually had her story featured on SyFy’s “The Internet Ruined My Life.”

“Most of the time videos, tweets or photos go viral and then disappear. You don’t really get to hear the story behind how it all happened,” VanPevenage said. “I didn’t want that to happen with my story. I wanted to make a difference to cure the hate and stop cyberbullying.”

VanPevenage also regained her confidence through her journey when Dr. David Lortscher of Curology reached out to her after seeing how severe her acne was. He saw the Buzzfeed article and thought that Ashley could benefit from their custom prescription solutions. Ashley ended up clearing her skin and bringing Curology on as a partner for Cure The Hate.

“I really stand behind what David (Lortcher) is doing for the average person that may not have insurance or the time to see a dermatologist. He’s really making a dent in the industry by offering Curology,” VanPevenage said. “The thing is it really works, trust me, I’ve tried everything. Within 90 days of using Curology, my skin was noticeably clear. Now I use it every day. I had to make some diet changes like no dairy. It’s funny that the very reason (acne) I was ridiculed online is actually what led me to eventually curing the problem!”

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My Clarity: Ashley VanPevenage feels comfortable in her skin after using Curology to rid her acne. Source: #CureTheHate

After months of research on the reputable anti-cyberbullying foundations Ashley decided to partner with the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Van Pevenage felt a connection to Tyler’s story and wanted to help his family take a stand against cyber bullying and increase #upstander pledge numbers.

The Tyler Clementi Foundation is the only foundation that offers free legal assistance to victims of online harassment. The free legal assistance is provided by The Tyler Clementi Institute of of CyberSafety at New York Law School, working with the school in order to make cyberbullying and other cyber crimes illegal.

Ashley’s message has been making the rounds on Twitter under the hashtag #CureTheHate in hopes for Twitter users to spread the message out there in the same space she was humiliated in. The #CureTheHate hashtag is also being used in other social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. #CureTheHate has gained support from pop icon Kelly Osbourne, acne activist Cassandra Bankson, celebrity makeup artist Honey B Eileen and, in recent headlines, Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers.

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Showing Support: Cassandra Bankson and Kelly Osbourne give their support to the #CureTheHate campaign. Source: Twitter

For more information on #CureTheHate, visit curethehate.com or follow on Twitter @curethehate. For information on Curology, visit curology.com

‘Pete’s Dragon’ soars with nostalgic, timeless storytelling

“Pete’s Dragon” flies in to set Disney’s live-action remake praise streak in stone.

Based on the original 1977 classic of the same name, ‘Pete’s Dragon’ follows Pete (Oakes Fegley), an 11 year-old boy who has been living in the woods after a car accident six years prior. He is not alone in the woods as he comes across a dragon named Elliot who acts as his guardian and best friend.Unbeknownst to them, Elliot is a local legend in tales as told by local wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford).

One day, Pete is spotted by park ranger Grace Meacham (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the woods with Pete being taken to the hospital. Elliot himself gets spotted by local lumberjack Gavin (Keith Urban) who is hellbent on finding the dragon and bringing him to the town to boast of his catch. It is up to Pete to protect Elliot in return and show the town he is not a danger.

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I SEE A DRAGON: Pete (Oakes Fegley) and Elliot walk around the woods coming upon the townspeople.

The reason that makes this remake stand out on is unexpected, but welcomed change. It takes the base concept of the original film, a boy with an unlikely friend, and creates a film incomparable to the original cheese-filled musical. It instead becomes akin to films of the 80’s done in the vein of Spielberg and captures the timeless nature of those films.

It lends itself to the tropes we’ve come to love and expect out of those types of films to get the audience interested, even if it is quite predictable at points. The cinematography of the film makes the film’s setting larger than life and add a weight to it. In a way, this is ‘Super 8’ if Disney decided to make their own version. It is dark at times with hints of brown and green in order to capture the feel of a small mountain town.

The use of CGI for the animation of Elliot is quite a stand out as well. Instead of the marvelously hand-drawn animation of Don Bluth, we instead get a giant dragon that will remind some in the audience of Falcor from ‘The Neverending Story.’ His character shares the same traits as before such as being innocent, breathing fire and turning invisible. One key difference however is his fur that is a tinted green with brown notes that help him blend more into the woods than the hand-drawn version. It truly a great sight to witness on screen.

The performances themselves are great, if some characters come off as more ridiculous than others. Fegley as Pete excels in the wonderment and bravery of his character by playing it straight and somber. Howard and Redford are comfortable as their adult selves with Howard playing Grace as a motherly type figure and Redford being the old grizzled explorer that enjoys telling his stories to the next generation. One standout is Oona Laurence as Natalie, Pete’s new human friend, as she captures the innocent curiosity of childhood fascination with the discovery of Elliot.

The flaws of the film are few and far between. The aforementioned predictability deters from some of the films more perilous moments in the third act, which in turn features the highlight of the film’s set-pieces. The pacing can be slow at times, yet the world is so intriguing that it keeps the audience wide awake for the duller moments.

Karl Urban as the villain Gavin is very hit-and-miss. He feels less realistic than what the film presents itself as and his one moment of sympathy is not enough for the audience to care about him. Urban’s performance is not as hysterical as the original’s Dr. Terminus, played by Jim Dale, yet it borders on being a villain just for the sake that the film needs one.

‘Pete’s Dragon’ rises above the original’s concept by creating a story to stand on its own, even if the audience can see certain elements coming from a mile ahead. It is a throwback film that combines the elements of classic family film-making and new elements of modern cinema to deliver a new Disney classic.

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5

 

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