Friday, October 31, 2014

The Book of Life 2014 Film

The Book of Life is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated adventure musical comedy film produced by Reel FX Creative Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Co-written and directed by Jorge Gutierrez, the film stars the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum with supporting roles by Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Kate del Castillo. The film was theatrically released on October 17, 2014.

A group of children arrive at a museum and are taken on a secret tour by a tour guide named Mary Beth (Christina Applegate), who tells them about the famous legends and myths of Mexican folklore. She leads them to a hidden room containing the Book of Life that holds every story in the world. Mary Beth proceeds to tell the children the story of the Mexican town of San Angel and two gods: La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), who reigns over the Land of the Remembered, and Xibalba (Ron Perlman), who rules the Land of the Forgotten.

The story begins when La Muerte and Xibalba appear at San Angel's Day of the Dead festival where they set up a bet after seeing two boys, Manolo and Joaquín, competing over a free-spirited girl named María. La Muerte bets that Manolo will marry María, while Xibalba bets on Joaquín. If La Muerte wins, Xibalba can no longer meddle in mortal affairs; however, if Xibalba wins, he and La Muerte would switch lands.

Days later, María sets free the butcher's animals after seeing a baby pig (Carlos Alazraqui), much to the chagrin of her father General Posada (Carlos Alazraqui). Posada decides to send his daughter to a private boarding school in Spain to learn to behave. While seeing her off, Manolo gives her the baby pig named Chuy. María gives Manolo a new guitar which has "Always play from your heart" engraved on it.

Years pass as Manolo (Diego Luna) is trained by his father Carlos (Héctor Elizondo) to become a skilled bullfighter while Joaquín (Channing Tatum) becomes the town hero with the help of Xibalba's Medal of Eternal Life. On the day that María (Zoe Saldana) returns, a celebration is held in town culminating in Manolo's first bullfight. During the fight, Manolo refuses to kill the bull, disappointing his father and the crowd but delighting María. That night, María learns her father is arranging her marriage to Joaquín so that the hero would stay and protect San Angel from the bandit Chakal, but she is conflicted by her feelings for Manolo. Fearing he will lose the wager, Xibalba turns his staff into a twin-headed snake and sends it to kill Manolo. María and Manolo secretly meet and profess their love for each other, but they are interrupted when the snake bites María and seemingly kills her. Xibalba appears before Manolo, who states that he would do anything to be with María again. Xibalba summons the snake to inflict a bite with both heads to kill Manolo.

Manolo travels to the Land of the Remembered where he meets his mother, Carmen (Ana de la Reguera), and the rest of his deceased family members. Manolo and his family travel to La Muerte's castle, but find it now occupied by Xibalba. Xibalba explains the bet and that the snake only gave María enough venom to put her into a coma, but it gave Manolo enough to kill him. Once María awoke, she learned of Manolo's death and decided to accept Joaquín's proposal for the sake of the town. Manolo, Carmen, and Manolo's grandfather Luis (Danny Trejo) travel to the Cave of Souls in order to reach the Land of the Forgotten. After forced through dangerous tasks, Manolo's pure heart allows him and his family to enter the Cave. They meet the Candle Maker (Ice Cube) who oversees the lives of everybody in the living world. Manolo convinces him to take him through to the Land of the Forgotten to meet La Muerte after seeing that Manolo's story in the Book of Life has yet to be written because he is writing it himself. Manolo finds La Muerte and exposes Xibalba's cheating. Xibalba appears and agrees to give Manolo life again if he can defeat every single bull his family ever fought.

In the living world, Chakal (Dan Navarro) learns that Joaquín has the Medal of Eternal Life and leads his army of bandits to San Angel on the day of the wedding. The bandit kills Carlos, who joins his family as they watch Manolo's challenge. Manolo apologizes to the grudge-filled spirit to forgive his family's transgressions, and it dissolves peacefully away. Impressed, the deities grant Manolo his life back and send him and his family's spirits to the living world to defeat Chakal. Manolo and Joaquín make amends and fight against Chakal together. Realizing he will lose, Chakal lights the fuses on multiple bombs to take the entire town down with him. Manolo knocks over a column that causes the bell to fall over him and Chakal, protecting the town from the blast but seemingly killing Manolo. However, when Manolo emerges safely, Joaquín reveals that he secretly gave Manolo the magic medal. General Posada gives Manolo his blessing to marry María, and the two celebrate their wedding happily as Xibalba and La Muerte reconcile.

At the very end, the school group is very enlightened and as they leave, the tour guide and the security guard reveal themselves as La Muerte and Xibalba. Finally, the Candle Maker returns and reminds everyone to write their own stories.

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