Archive for the Animation Category

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

What people are saying:

“With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won’t drive a wedge between family members” 4 stars

“Captain Underpants is an homage to the funny high jinks of The Kids Next Door series that aired on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately it doesn’t capture the fun and wonderment of childhood like The KND. Instead, the movie proves beyond a doubt to NEVER believe any of the professional critics reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! This is the most disappointing movie to come out of Dreamworks who is known for their excellence in family entertainment.”

“As superhero films shift more in the direction of mature themes (even the PG-13 offerings are starting to push the envelope), a specifically child-friendly hopeful franchise starter such as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is an appreciated gift” 3 stars

“One of the best surprises of 2017. Captain Underpants has no shame in all the right ways. As a fan of the books when I was a kid, this movie was an absolute love letter to me. It’s faithful, over the top and very self-aware. But from humor that is pulled off with care, the genuine connection between the two main characters and animation that is bright and whimsical, even non-book fans can find a certain joy in this movie.” 4 1/2 stars

“My family really enjoyed this movie and it passed the “six laugh test”. Now, if you do not like puerile humor and pee and poop and fart jokes, then this movie may not be for you. However, there is plenty in this movie that does make it quite funny. George and Harold have been terrorized by their principal for years and have tried to fight back with various pranks to buck up their fellow students. Principal Krupp has never been able to prove their culpability in the pranks. When he finally gets evidence on them, the duo are forced to try hypnotizing Krupp with a cheap toy from a cereal box. Of course, they are amazed when it works and he becomes their comic book creation Captain Underpants. This movie is quite conscious of its puerile nature and uses that to its self-deprecatory advantage. When it comes down to it, this movie is about kids and friendships and just how deep those friendships forged in early years can be. The movie stays pretty true to the tone of the book and is completely insane.” 5 stars

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Batman: Assault on Arkham

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Being locked away in Arkham has little effect on Joker and his latest desire to detonate a dirty bomb within Gotham. The clock begins to tick and a deadly triangle unfolds as Amanda Waller unleashes Task Force X to save the day…while Batman has his own plans for salvation.

What people are saying:

“…gleefully immoral” heist film which, having “no real [plot] arc to speak of”, relies on its violent action and clever character dynamics within the Suicide Squad to carry it. Due to its villainous protagonists, dark comedy, and sexual content, Mendelson considers the production of Assault on Arkham an experimental decision by DC, and a successful experiment as it tells a style of comic book story that would never get approval as a live-action project” 4 1/2 stars

“DC Entertainment thrills with one of its boldest and mature films yet while finally figuring out the secret to telling engaging and fun adventures of DC Comic characters beyond Batman and the Justice League.” 4 stars

“The versions of the characters are well done and the voice-work is as good as always for DC comics animation, the story has a good set-up and some nice twists and turns, but it feels like more could have been done with the characters and the small moments of development some have don’t quite work. Also the whole thing is over-the-top in its machismo, at times to the point of parody.” 3 stars

“A little dumb and rushed at times, Batman: Assault on Arkham seems to be fan service for both the comic book fans and for the teenage boys watching it. Some of the charters are completely useless, like that communist that even got his own title card and everything that dies in less than half an hour into the film. And the plot has to revolve around batman not the side-characters this film was made to showcase, the dubbing of the animation can be terrible at worst and bad at best. But with that said the fight scenes are cool and the story is creative. all in all this is an OK movie worth checking out.” 3 1/2 stars

“The animation team at DC did a good job with this feature. It is like a darker, adult version of the Batman universe more akin to Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight” Trilogy. I really liked how they merged the elements of the superhero genre with the tropes of a heist film (with the various surprises and complications, switched allegiances, Deadshot as the jaded leader who has done missions hundreds of times, Captain Boomerang being the rebellious new guy, Harley Quinn as the crazy, untrustworthy one who could easily FUBAR the mission, King Shark as the muscle, etc.). It also included plenty of great action and numerous cool little node to the “Arkham” games. The voice casting is almost spot-on, too, with the only exception being Matthew Gray Gubler sounding a little off as the Riddler. I just had a couple of minor issues with the film, though; they detract from the overall movie, but do not derail it from being entertaining. First, I think they over-sexualized Harley Quinn (even more so than the “Arkham” series the movie is based on) with no compelling reasoning behind this move. Secondly, while it gets course-corrected in the last ten minutes of the film, the climax ends up devolving into a retread of the main “breakout” plot of the first “Arkham Asylum,” which was disappointing after all of the other elements in the film (including the interesting plot, for the most part) were so new and shocking compared the previous animated DC films.” 4 1/2 stars

Inside Out

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews, Pixar with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

What people are saying:

“Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics” 4 1/2 stars

“It’s full of colour and lovable characters and held together by an immaculately polished screenplay that is every bit as funny as it is moving. It also features some of the best voice performances you’ll hear all year.” 5 stars

“It’s a well-written story, and another Pixar movie well-done. That said, this is not a movie for very young children because they won’t appreciate or understand the plots or what adolescents might go through. As I watched this over the July 4th weekend, there were a couple of families with very young children walking out, which I’m not totally surprised. But it’s a story that all parents and grown-ups can relate to, that childhood is not always sunny and rosy. It is thus that Sadness is as important as the part that Joy plays, that our childhood will always be multi-colored. In time, some of our childhood memory, like Bing Bong, will fade away and disappear, which goes hand in hand with sadness, but they are the foundation that new life and memory will be built on. And our life will grow richer and more complex as a result. If you feel part sad, but mostly happy, the movie has done its job.” 5 stars

“Given the rave reviews in the press when “Inside Out” released you’d have thought that watching this film would cure cancer or something equally marvelous. Having watched it from my viewpoint the results are less than impressive and surprising for a Pixar product. The animation is as spectacular as you’d expect from the Pixar studios and does not disappoint. The premise was promising but the script and execution didn’t do much for me, I thought it was kind of dull. The “A” list voice actor cast give it their all and the pacing is fairly manic which you’d expect for a kid’s film but I was happy to see the credits roll. This imaginary journey into the mind of tween girl dealing with her emotions will appeal to kids of that age group, and some adults but I doubt it will hold the attention of smaller children.” 3 stars

“A brilliantly written, funny, emotional and insightful comedy that deals with the workings of the human psyche. When a script is this well written and so intelligently executed then it really does give you hope for the future of the film industry. More of this please!” 5 stars

The Emoji Movie

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

This animated comedy takes place in Textopolis, a world inside a smartphone that’s inhabited by various emojis. There, an emoji named Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) is ashamed that he has multiple facial expressions while his colleagues only have one each, and he embarks on a quest to be like everyone else.

What people are saying:

“Make no mistake, The Emoji Movie is very, very, very bad (we’re talking about a hyperactive piece of corporate propaganda in which Spotify saves the world and Sir Patrick Stewart voices a living turd), but real life is just too hard to compete with right now.” 2 stars

“The Problem most people had with The Emoji Movie but didn’t know how to explain it was how the movie was advertised. For some, I think the advertisement of The Emoji Movie meant one thing and to others something totally different. Also what age bracket this movie should have been marketed too. I like Jean’scharacter because the movie for him was about growing up and being yourself in a society that makes everyone conform to what they want you to be. Hi-Five issue was one minute your on top, the next minute your at the bottom. How do you define success for your self? How you accept yourself no matter if you are on the top or the bottom. Jailbreak was the also very unique, How do you be yourself and also fit in with society and learn to deal with stereotypes” 4 stars

“There’s a justifiable self-loathing running through The Emoji Movie, a fragile attempt to (sigh) deconstruct the meaning of Emojis while also (sigh) demonstrating the profound possibility that Emojis are the language of the future.” 1/2 star

“I really enjoyed this movie. i did not think i would like it as much as i did. it’s funny and very entertaining. the animation is great, voice acting is great and the characters are great. the story is good as well. the music is awesome i love the just dance scene that was cool. my favorite character is hi 5 i think he stole the movie. the villain was kind of weak but still entertaining at the same time. i loved how they built the world of the emojis and the rest of the apps that was pretty creative. all in for a movie that sounds dumb it’s pretty darn good. don’t judge a book by it’s cover right. this movie is cenimatastic. if you have not seen this movie then i recommend you do.” 5 stars

“I’m disappointed in myself that I followed the herd on this one. Get off the band wagon – so easy to berate a movie that’s based on something so trivial as emojis and easy to believe it’s just one long advert. I wonder how many of those reviewers have actually seen the film? I saw much more blatant product placement in Wreck It Ralph, but then I guess it’s not very popular to bad mouth that one, right? This movie is not the best, it won’t win awards (mainly due to popularism, thanks for that) – but it’s a kid’s film. Did we forget that? I wouldn’t expect a kid to give a decent rating to Schindler’s List, the film isn’t for them, so why such bad press for this one, which is a kid’s film?” 4 stars

The Boss Baby

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby. The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim

What people are saying:

“The contrast between the helpless-infant stage of life and corporate-speak is funny but fairly high-concept for a kiddie movie, and the plot grows denser as it goes along and the baby and Tim reluctantly join forces to stop a conspiracy by which puppies would corner all the love in the world” 3 stars

“I’ve seen previews for animated films in the past and gotten the complete wrong impression from them before. That did not happen this time, as this movie looked boring and contrived, and it certainly was that. There’s some cute potty humor, and a few jokes from the alarm clock that made me smile, but otherwise this movie was simple, obvious, and boring. It was very difficult after the climax to sit through the rest of the film… which would be emotional if the movie had done it’s job of making you care about the characters. There’s very little to like here. I’d recommend this to children 4-6 years old? Maybe? ” 1 star

“I could have done without the kewpie-doll faces and oversized eyes, but for the most part and where it counts, gets its kids just right.” 3 stars

“This movie surprised me. I did not expect to like it very much. I thought it would just be a bunch of crude humor but it turned out that the story and the characters pulled me in, and I ended up caring about them very much. I enjoyed that the movie just got better as it went along and ended up being a movie with lots of heart! (the scene with the tons of plastic beads really got to me; it was so touching!) Don’t want to spoil it for those that have not seen the movie yet. Good story about family and love between siblings4 stars

“the juxtaposition between imagination and reality is brilliant, and the story strikes a great balance between hilarity and heartwarming. On the flip side, some elements are overly repeated (I’ll puke if they play blackbird one more time!), the chase & fight scenes are annoying, the story gets a bit complicated for a PG film (not to mention the plot-holes this creates), and there’s so much room to edit this down by a good 15 minutes.” 3 stars

Meet the Robinsons

Posted in Animation, Disney, Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

An orphan who dreams of someday finding a family to call his own finds his fate taking an unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson transports him into the future. Based on the book A Day With Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce, Meet the Robinsons tells the story of a boy with a lifelong wish to belong, and shows what happens when he meets an incredible collection of characters who just might have the power to make his wildest fantasies come true.

What people are saying:

“…a snappy plot that demands close attention as it whizzes back and forth in the space-time continuum, touching on serious ideas and proposing some rather disturbing alternate realities. And the witty story twists are handled with rare subtlety and intelligence. In the end it may get a little weepy and inspirational. But it’s so charming that we don’t mind at all.” 4 stars

“…the movie possesses an unusually bright and colorful sense of style that immediately sets it apart from its increasingly plentiful brethren.” 4 stars

“Kids will no doubt be entertained but for everyone else this will just be a rather rough watch I think. Characters and plot are simple and the story is full of holes. More interested in trying to pound its message home then telling an interesting story. Too predictable and silly to be interesting so I can’t rank this as a “family” film really, give this to shut your kid up for 90 minutes while you take a breather.” 2 1/2 stars

“The Robinsons are amusing and likable enough for an hour and a half, but a lengthier exposure to any one of them would have any level-headed person desperately seeking out the number of a facility for the clinically insane. The film’s childishly envisioned ‘future’ will likely appeal only to those without a nostalgic attachment to better bygone eras, and will seem nightmarish to anyone else-especially being home to loonies like the Robinsons. On the plus side, the main antagonist’s background gives him more depth than that of the traditional born-to-be-wicked Disney villain, even if he remains ten times more pathetic than the worst of them. The film’s more emotional aspects, particularly at the start of the film, show potential, but as the story progresses, one has to decide whether or not that potential was entirely wasted.” 2 1/2 stars

“With a Mickey Mouse cartoon at the beginning and a quote from Walt Disney at the end, this shiny, dazzling movie will still charm you with its traditional Disney goodness. The voice talents are great, the textures rich, and the story solid and engaging. The Danny Elfman music is award-worthy. Youll want the t-rex, frogs, villain and Caffeine Patch Lady to have their own movies! There were kids from 4 to 14 in the theater when we thirty-somethings saw this movie; no one was bored, everyone laughed and rooted for the underdogs. If its in theaters when you read this, GO NOW, because its wonderful to see on the big screen” 4 stars

The Lego Batman Movie

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO (R) Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure: “The LEGO (R) Batman Movie.” But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

What people are saying:

The LEGO Batman Movie isn’t the same experience as watching The LEGO Movie, but I also don’t think it’s trying to be. It’s trying to be a fun superhero movie with clever callbacks to previous Batman films (every single Batman movie all the way back to the 1940s serials are referenced) that can, at least, provide DC superhero fans with a taste of fun amidst all the doom and gloom. (That can either be a reference to ‘the real world’ or the current DC Cinematic Universe films, you can choose either one you want or both.) And at that, The LEGO Batman Movie succeeds” 5 stars

The Lego Batman Movie works precisely because it knows audiences are sick of its hero. It’s a reassessment, an intervention, an effort to try and remember what’s fun about him.” 4 stars

“After the endless outpouring of “this movie is just SOOO GREAT!!”, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch. It was incredibly disappointing. Way too many references being thrown around rapid-fire, the action was happening way too fast to catch what was going on related to the movie, let alone all the side references. Not especially fond of the choice of voice cast. Will Arnett was doing his best to hold the Kevin Conroy Batman voice and Ralph Fiennes made an excellent Alfred, the rest were forgettable. In fact, I had to use the pause button during the credits to figure out who the rest of the cast were. I got bored enough to fall asleep during the movie two or three times and didn’t feel compelled to wind back when I woke. I didn’t feel like I had missed anything. I think this movie has been classified as a “greatest movie ever” because the public was TOLD to think it was great. We really need to rein in pre-release movie hype.” 2 stars

“This is fun and all, but it suffers from the curse of all the best stuff being given away in the trailer. It also doesn’t have the novelty factor any more, since the animation isn’t anything we didn’t see in The Lego Movie. The jokes are funny, and as a Batman fan I enjoyed seeing a lighter side of that, but in hindsight I wish I had waited to rent it instead of paying to see it in theaters.” 3 stars

“This film was not part of DCEU, still it made an impact to my experience, the animation was so smooth and it moves in a fast then slow paste, the storyline was typical like the other Batman movies, characters like Robin and Batgirl had a silly of a backstory that are not align to the comics, the script was written like a child’s play conversation which makes it perfect for children, what is outstanding is the chemistry between heroes and villains and this is the first film written in a form like that, it was emotional, sympathetic, and inspiring, it is connected to the topic of self-worth, I know this is a spinoff film for kids but still it feels like it’s how the real world interacts with one another. We got tosee enough screentime of both Superheroes and Supervillains but in a one-to-one connection, this film has its touch and I had great experience watching it.” 4 1/2 stars