A Monster CallsJanuary. 01,2016 PG-13
Prime Video Movies
A boy imagines a monster that helps him deal with his difficult life and see the world in a different way.
'A Monster Calls (2017)' is the kind of 'fantasy as allegory' that's so often made all the less ambiguous, one way or the other, precisely because of its format. Film isn't quite able to achieve the kind of unspoken uncertainty that novels often inherently carry, considering the all-encompassing perspective of written fist-person narratives, but not every story is meant to work both literally and figuratively - though many often do and I can't speak to the intentions of the source-material (which I haven't read). My point is that some material perhaps has more impact if it makes itself as definitive as possible. Such is the case with this feature, which never really has any pretences about its more outlandish elements and always frames them as the coping mechanisms of a child - though the occasionally more tangible moment does break this illusion somewhat. While the stranger elements perhaps don't work as well as they would have in a piece totally told from the perspective of our unreliable narrator of a protagonist, the film comes together to tell a tale as old as time in a distinct way that actually allows it to be widely accessible and incredibly emotionally resonant, to boot. 7/10
Incredibly sad movie, but an amazing portrail of how a child actually feels when faced with death.
A Monster Calls: A boy suffers bullying at school, his mother is seriously ill, he doesn't get on with his grandmother. All of this forces him into a fantasy world where a Monster Tree (played by Liam Neeson) comes to life and tells him three tales. As well as the tree being CGI/Animatronics, the Monster's tales are played out in animation.A moving, coming of age film which also contains adult themes and no, Neeson's acting wasn't wooden. 8/10.
Warning spoilers!I passed on this movie when it was released theatrically and then on initial home video release. I found this movie in the 2 for $1 rental (blu-ray) at my local brick and mortar video store. On side note, great bass for home theater when the tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) walks and very good video quality.This is a well-acted, well-written and great story about a sad topic (terminal illness of a mother). Much like "Pan's Labyrinth" is not a fantasy movie for young children though both have fantasy elements. Still I think pre-teens on up in age are ok to watch this if they are willing to watch and then discuss this thoughtful movie.Amazing performance all around and especially by the actor playing Connor.Even lIttle touches (easter egg) in movie like blink and you'll miss it serve the story: e.g. old picture of Liam Neeson (as human) with his movie wife (Sigourney Weaver's) character. Too bad this movie "bombed" at the box office. Instead poorly written tent-pole movies like Star Wars 8 The Last Jedi collect the money and fill the theatres.