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Thread: How to train your dragon

  1. #321

    Default Re: How to train your dragon

    So, the movie is up online now in certain places. I assume because it came out two months earlier in other territories, they get their dvds sooner too. I'll be picking up the bluray in a month, but in the meantime, I've been watching it again.

    Much like the second film, its a little better the second time around. Not as amazing as the first movie is out the gate, but still solid. I'm able to actually see the timestamps and just how much the villain is actually in the film, and he could have been left out. They would have needed some other impetus for the overall plot, but I'm sure they could have come up with SOMETHING.


    Spoiler:

    The movie already had the overcrowding angle, and the continuous onslaught of trappers. They didn't need a big bad, the nastiest there ever was, taking up about 20 minutes of film. Character stuff could have carried it. And while the movie as a whole isn't amazing, there are scenes and moments that add up and are really good that I'll probably be able to watch lots of times... mostly the Toothless material.

    Anyway, this time, I'm picking up on some little nuances and moments, that now that I'm catching, will probably stick with me a little more. Like in the first film, when Hiccup holds his hand out for Toothless for the first time, Toothless sort of pushes his head forward in a wobble first, still deciding, before he actually moves forward. Brilliant little bit of character work.

    And there's stuff like that in this movie too. In particular, there's a scene with Hiccup and Astrid are in hidden world, looking at a bunch of dragons, and Astrid's face is delighted and happy... while Hiccup's face is just... all sorts of emotions. It plays as a moment when you're watching it... but watching it a second time, the nuance, and the counterbalance between the two... it's really nice. Also just some nice subtle bodylanguage bits that aren't drawn any attention to, like Hiccup just casually grazing Astrid's hand for support. Not like a fully drawn out hand hold with camera focused on it... just a tiny subtle bit of fantastic character animation.

    Also, tucked away in the background of a couple shot, there's a few more Lightfuries, so Toothless and his girlfriend aren't the last of their kind. So that's nice.

    The stuff with the secondary cast is nice growth too. None of the kids gets to do much more than a scene apiece, I guess you have the tv show for that, but stuff like Tuff having turned into Hiccup's best bro/adviser and constant "I'm with him, who else?" is such a nice subtle growth from the start of the franchise. Also Fishlegs is carrying around a little baby dragon plushie at the end after the dragons leave.

    The ending is maybe a little bit nicer this time around, but the shoehorned villain makes it all feel a little shallow. Like "the dragons can't stay here because they'll keep being hunted." Except, by making a big prominent famous nasty the big bad.... and also specifically namedropping the villain of the previous movie it's kind of like... well... there were three super famous dragon hunters, if you count Stoic, and they're all dead now. ANyone else is easily taken care of by Hiccup's crew. So it rings false as an impetus. I dunno what they should have done differently, but... something?

    The epilogue kids are cute though.


    Also, sidenote I didn't mention in my earlier review since everyone else had seen it long before I did.... Even the first time watching the movie, I found myself wondering "Why doesn't Hiccup pull out his flight suit from the second movie? That would be reeeeally helpful at this point." Because.... that was supposed to be a big moment reveal 20 minutes later, that's why!
    Last edited by Robby; April 4th, 2019 at 12:24 PM.
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  2. #322

    Default Re: How to train your dragon

    Quote Originally Posted by Robby View Post
    Spoiler:
    The ending is maybe a little bit nicer this time around, but the shoehorned villain makes it all feel a little shallow. Like "the dragons can't stay here because they'll keep being hunted." Except, by making a big prominent famous nasty the big bad.... and also specifically namedropping the villain of the previous movie it's kind of like... well... there were three super famous dragon hunters, if you count Stoic, and they're all dead now. ANyone else is easily taken care of by Hiccup's crew. So it rings false as an impetus. I dunno what they should have done differently, but... something?
    Spoiler:
    Yeah, this is a problem I had with the movie too. And...well, while I generally don't like to do the whole here's-how-I-would've-written-it thing, since I don't claim to know how to write for a big budget Hollywood movie and it opens my own ideas up to scrutiny and criticism, well...here's how I MIGHT have written it:

    So the first ten or so minutes are the same with Hiccup's village having the dragon overcrowding problem. To solve this issue, many of the dragons agree to depart and settle down in other lands. However, the dragons end up settling down in other various kingdoms that are unfamiliar with them and, as a result, the populace becomes terrified and the governments quickly act, many arguing to expel or even eradicate them. During a conference of the multiple kingdoms (get some nice world-building going) wherein they decide how to deal with the dragon "problem" Hiccup arrives to state his case that the dragon's are harmless and only want a place to live in peace. However, dragon trapper guy, who is well-known and respected amongst the kingdoms, also comes to state his case, arguing that the dragons are dangerous.

    And of course the stuff with the light fury and the hidden world can also be going on parallel to this.

    The debate continues for a while and appears that Hiccup may actually persuade the kingdoms to let the dragons stay, but then dragon trapper guy enacts some plan that makes the dragons look really bad and, thus, the kingdoms decide to allow him to eradicate the dragons. Dragon trapper guy proceeds to capture the dragons, with the big battle and climax more-or-less playing out how it did in the actual movie. Once trapper guy is defeated, the dragons are all freed, but now they know they can't stay in the human world any more since they know the kingdoms will just send more people to destroy them. Thus, they all make the heart-breaking decision to part ways and live in the hidden world.

    But that's just one casual watcher's idea.

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