Archive for the Family Category

The Jungle Book (2016)

Posted in Action/Adventure, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Inspired by the animated Disney classic, this live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved novel follows young Mowgli as he navigates a jungle full of wonder and peril with his animal allies Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear.

What people are saying:

“Exceptionally beautiful to behold and bolstered by a stellar vocal cast, this umpteenth film rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s tales of young Mowgli’s adventures amongst the creatures of the Indian jungle proves entirely engaging, even if it’s ultimately lacking in subtext and thematic heft” 5 stars

“It’s not like we don’t all already know this story backward and forward, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from giving this remake a chance. It’s visually beautiful, and I loved that they kept some of the music from the original animated Disney version. Neel Sethi is a perfect Mowgli and the casting of the voice actors is pretty much spot on. ” 4 stars

“By the time its evolution is complete, The Jungle Book has proven itself a minor Darwinian miracle, perhaps the oddest of all species: a movie nearly devoid of human beings, yet one bursting with humanity.” 4 1/2 stars

“Meh. While I was pretty impressed by this film on a technical and visual level, this film didn’t work nearly as well for me as it did for other people. The writing was lazy and there was no connection between the characters. Nothing was better done here than the book or even the animated one.Some will disagree with me but while Christopher Walken as King Louie was better than I thought, I still can’t get into Bill Murray as Baloo. Bill Murray is a very funny guy but I never saw a character in his performance, I just heard Bill Murray’s voice out of this bear and I found it quite distracting. Personally, I would’ve asked for a movie that had the Disney spirit but kept some of the brilliant themes and ideas from the book by Rudyard Kipling. I guess if I’ll give this 2016 version anything…….at least its not the 1994 Stephen Sommer’s version?” 2 1/2 stars

“Amazing! Where reality laves off and fantasy takes over is seamlessly executed and the movie transports you through an unforgettable journey. We watched this as established fans of Kipling, appreciating the tragedies of his life along with the magnificence of his writing; while the movie is an art form unto its own, it captures Kipling and wrings your heart as it unfolds. We watched it twice, the second time leaving no lesser impression. A film for all ages.” 5 stars

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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

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

Furry Vengeance

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on March 20, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When ambitious real estate developer Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) relocates his family to rural Oregon to supervise the construction of a massive new subdivision, one resourceful raccoon rallies his woodland friends to fight back and shut down the project. As the battle between man and beast heats up, the hapless real estate developer realizes there are some natural environments that are better left untouched.

What people are saying:

“A thin premise stretched far beyond serviceable length, Furry Vengeance subjects Brendan Fraser – and the audience – to 92 minutes of abuse” 2 1/2 stars

“Almost as much of a relief as making it through to the end is realizing earlier on that none of the creatures will be talking for the duration of the picture. This reduces the annoyance factor considerably for anyone over the age of nine.” 2 stars

“i like the idea that over all time there was a group of animals protecting the forest. but this would have probably been a better animated movie with talking animals instead of the goofy “film” presented. it tries to be funny but it really isn’t because none of it can be taken seriously. Brendan Fraser annoyed the crap outta me, he just couldn’t function. everybody should feel really bad about making this movie the way it was. it would have probably been good if it had been animated” 2 stars

“This wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be… but it had it’s moments. I love the fact that the animals had such a great revenge. I can’t believe that he got hurt more than five times… and he still lived.” 3 1/2 stars

“A bore from its opening moments right through the lame credit sequence featuring the actors lip-syncing to Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain,” Furry Vengeance would only be worthwhile if the animals of the world took the film to heart and attacked the filmmakers for creating a movie that makes them look like vindictive jerks.” 2 stars

Casper

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this Brad Silberling-helmed comedy, Bill Pullman plays James Harvey, a ghost doctor hired by Carrigan Crittendon (Cathy Moriarty) to rid Whipstaff Manor of spirits so she can find a treasure trove rumored to be hidden there. But her plan backfires when James’s daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) befriends Casper, the friendly phantom who inhabits the place along with The Ghostly Trio, who disdain humans. Includes games, featurettes and more.

What people are saying:

“This doesn’t usually happen to me, but 15 minutes before the end of Casper I suddenly realized that if I didn’t take a deep breath, I was going to start sobbing.” 4 stars

“Three stars. Why is this worth watching? Christina Ricci. She pretty much carries the film, and does a great job of it. And the cameos. Don Novello, Dan Aykroyd, Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Gibson all turn in howlingly funny snippets. It gets thin after that. Cathy Moriarty and Eric Idle are both okay. But that’s pretty weak praise for two usually brilliant actors. And Bill Pullman was just a guy. The narrative is about as by-the-numbers as it possibly could be. But the house looks cool. And the ghost graphics were pretty nifty. Also the film doesn’t trash it’s namesake. Casper has been around for a long time, and he has a pretty well-defined character. Hollywood comic-book movies often ignore that sort of history, and end up making glitzy garbage as a result. They also tend to worry more about effects than story. I didn’t see those problems here. It’s simple to follow, it’s pretty funny (with both slapstick and subtle humor), and it taught my seven year old at least one new swear-word. Not a great film, but not bad” 3 stars

“This version of Casper goes along okay at first, then picks up steam when the Victorian sci-fi sets appear. A decent story then becomes exciting and fun. I leaned toward three stars early on, then toward four, then finally a little past four when I took into consideration all the great extras, and even better, all the cameos. Christina Ricci avoids the angst her role could have fallen into, which I suspect is a credit to the screenplay. Great cinematography and effects enhance what’s already good. This is one rental you’ll want to rent no matter how scared of ghosts you might be.” 4 stars

Casper is a surprisingly good film, one that might look a bit bland and generic around its edges but that finds a much deeper, much more welcoming, much more tenderhearted center. The characters are simple but strongly developed and very well performed. The story isn’t all that novel but the emotions that flow from it are genuine. The special effects hold up very well even two decades after its release. Casper may not be a classic, but it holds up to repeat viewings and never loses its outer charm and inner dramatic appeal.” 4 star

“Considering I’ve never been a HUGE fan of Casper (then again who is these days?) and considering the film doesn’t have the best reputation for an animated adaptation, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but I was surprised at how good I thought the film was. Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci both do decent jobs and you can sense the relationship of father and daughter with the two, and the kid who played Casper does a good job at pulling off his personality, but the characters that steal the show are the ghostly trio, Stretch played by Joe Nipote, Stinky played by Veteran VA Joe Alaskey (Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, & Sylvester from 2000 to 2006), and Fatso played by Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett. Not only are all three of these guys entertaining as hell as these characters, but they make them each funny, give them distinct voices, and make each character just mean but the likable and funny kind of mean. Also the film has a few very good cameo moments and does have a good sense of humor which considering most Cartoon to film adaptations usually have the same humor of juvenile fart jokes or other jokes, but no this film did try a number of jokes and a lot of them actually work? 4 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