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Disney’s Moana – Review

As obvious as it should be, this will probably contain spoilers. If you don’t want anything spoiled (even knowing the type of beer I ordered) you should turn back now. But definitely come back after you watch it and read my ramblings.

TL;DR – Loved it.

As I said in the 21st Amendment Brewery post, my review skills are not top notch. For most movies, if it entertains me I’ll give it a thumbs up. That being said, I’ll do my best to give my heartfelt opinion on things I thought went well and things that may have not lived up to the hype.With that, on with the review!

It’s Black Friday (or it was when I watched Moana) which means shopping galore! Well, not for me. I did go to the mall and look for some nice shirts but after I saw that a) the lines were 30 people deep and b) the shirts weren’t on sale, I opted against it. Quick aside, the shirts were online and on sale so I did that when I got home. Anyway, 3:30 rolled around so we drove from one side of the mall to the other side where the theater was. I wanted to see Moana but my sister wanted to see Fantastic Beasts. Her one sentence review was that it was really good and she loved every bit of it, but this is not about her review, it’s all about me!

Out of all the theater choices within driving distance, we opted for an AMC Theater because you get to reserve your seat. With the movie coming out yesterday, img_0488I was not about to show up and only have the front row available, no way. The only other time I had been to this theater was for Finding Dory, and that experience was not as great as I would have liked. It definitely made up for it this time though! I was in a different theater setup than the one for Dory so there was slightly more room for my legs. Oh, I should mention the theater has reclining seats, and beer. Nothing better than sipping my classy BudLight watching a Disney movie.

Beer in hand, the previews started to play. Man, there are some real winnings coming out soon. Sadly they didn’t play the trailer for Rogue One which is going to be my favorite movie ever. That is my official pre-review. Then the Disney short, Inner Workings, came on. It was a cute little story about a guy and, well, his inner workings. His different organs interact to decide what to do. img_0493He has a dead end job and is just really unhappy about everything. His heart yearns for adventure and excitement but his brain is a stickler for the rules and is afraid to try new things for fear of dying, or dying fat, or dying in a shark (hmm sounds like someone I know). His brain becomes self aware of his unpleasant situation and he goes out and lives life. He returns to his job a new man, reinvigorated and with a bright outlook on life. I’ll admit it, it got me a bit teary because it hit home a little too hard.

Now, for what everyone has been waiting for. Was Frozen really the last proper Animated Disney Princess movie? Surely, I must be forgetting something. For Disney movies, I like going into the theater with a very minimal knowledge about the plot. I knew it was about a Hawaiian girl named Moana and also starred the Rock. Lin-Manuel Miranda did a lot of music, and knowing how I feel about Hamilton, I was going to like it but had no idea what to expect.img_0497

I won’t go through the whole plot to save you precious time. Moana is a girl who feels this constant pull towards the ocean. Her overprotective father forbids her from venturing past the reef but her wise grandma knows she is destined to sail. This is a fairly simple plot point but Disney does it so well! They capture the problem that faces Moana and add in just enough tension to her decision to sail. Maui was not in the movie until a decent way through. That was a surprising move but I really liked it because the movie is focusing on Moana’s personal journey and having the Rock was just a bonus. Once we meet Maui though, his character is instantly likable. He is self-centered but Moana easily puts him in his place, not putting up with his shenanigans.

Then we get to my favorite part of the movie, the coconut pirates! I would pay to have a movie based solely around them. Sure, they are the Minions of the Moana-verse but they are great. I love their ship that turns into more ships. They are so weird but strangely adorable in a dysfunctional kind of way.

The weirdest part of the movie was definitely the crab. I don’t know how I feel about it yet. It was so strange and creepy. The song will probably get stuck in my head tomorrow so I should just go ahead and say it now, I’m probably going to like this part in the end. The animations were on point but it was still whacky. Fast forward to the end, Moana saves the day and everyone lives happily ever after. Like I said, I don’t want make this a retelling.

Now, music. With Lin at the wheel, it was destined to be good. A lot of the songs, especially “You’re Welcome” have a familiarity about it mostly thanks to all the times I’ve listened to Hamilton. Unlike Hamiton, the songs didn’t make me completely break down into tears (the word “Uptown” still triggers me) but they did get me to feel. On my next trip to Disneyland, I’ll probably pick up the soundtrack because the are pretty catchy.

Animation time. Wowzers, the water is amazing. Water is one of the hardest things to animate well and they nailed it. They did so many different things with the water and each was as jaw dropping as the next. The landscapes they designed were mind boggling too. They are really working the line between cartoony animation with a lifelike feel.

I loved the movie. I had no idea about it going in but that is the wonderful thing about Disney films. They are designed to be viewed by children and adults alike and everyone can jump right in without prior knowledge. Sadly, it will never dethrone Frozen from the number 1 spot (it resides in a special place in my heart for reasons I won’t go into) but it was good to know that Disney is putting out A+ princess movies. Please please please don’t make a sequel unless its pure gold, but by all means make a shoot off story about the coconut pirates. If I don’t see them plastering the stores in Disneyland next week I’ll be a little saddened. But, until then, keep adventuring!


21st Amendment Brewery – Adventure Showcase #6

And we are back! This may have happened on Wednesday but you can’t blame me for taking Thanksgiving off. With the holiday this week, Wednesday became basically like Friday which meant I could do something fun after work. With my sister back in town for the week, we went to the San Leandro 21st Amendment Brewery tasting room. This is the second brewery I’ve ever been too (official brewery that is, I am not counting restaurants who also make a small selection of beers.) While we didn’t get a tour, the whole factory is an open lay out. From where I was sitting, I could see pretty much every step of the beer making process which gives the place an amazing vibe.

They had a food truck parked out back with the biggest plate of nachos I’ve ever seen. From the reviews my family gave, they were pretty awesome too. Now, onto the reviews. Remember, I am in no way a pro-taster who can tell that something touched a piece of pine or a dash of cinnamon was mixed in. 025I’m more of a “ehh that wasn’t so bad, maybe I’ll have it again” type of person. Out of the beers they had on tap, these were the six I chose to test.

Brew Free or Die: A good IPA. My favorite of them all.

Blah Blah Blah: Another strong IPA. It was pretty good.

Good Things: This is where things took a turn for the worse.

He Said: Yikes. Not great.

Fireside Chat: This one was whack too. I don’t remember if it was this one or the He Said, but one tasted like Cola.

Watermelon Funk: Not horrible, but not my cup of tea. It tasted like the sour patch watermelon candy.

I may have also tried The Headless Hopsman, but it was not part of my official taster. If I remember, it was pretty good as well, but probably because it was similar to an regular IPA. 048

Now that the tasting was all done, I got to use my buzz (I may be a bit of a lightweight) to get a full pint of Brew Free and play some corn hole. Yeah… I wasn’t good at corn hole that night. I got better near the end but my technique meant the bean bags skipped off the board, losing me some valuable points. Thinking my skills would be better used with a ball, I turned my attention to Bocce. Nope, also overthrew every shot there too. I guess I don’t know my own strength.

Final thoughts: I am coming back. Perhaps I can convince some friends to come with me one night. I feel like with some training I can claim my place atop the fictitious corn hole throne as king of the party games! I will definitely keep buying the Brew Free or Die because it’s really good and reasonably priced.