Archive for the Family Category

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother.

What people are saying:

“In some respects, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is a marginal improvement over prior installments, although this in no way qualifies as a recommendation.” 1 star

“A cute and harmless family movie which will definitely gain the approval of the kids as the three most famous chipmunks venture to Miami with a stereotypical rebelling teen. Despite a predictable plot, the film makes a decent enough movie for children to enjoy.” 3 stars

“I think Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise should’ve quit after the second movie. The third one was boring at best. We had four kids with us. They were pretty bored after the first 30 minutes. There were some good songs but they did not make up for the very forced story line. Save your money and watch it on a rental.” 2 stars

“Irritating characters, little semblance of a plot, weak gags, and sub-par performances … result in a film that doesn’t even have enough going on to interest a five-year-old.” 1 star

“Definitely better than the third movie, which, unfortunately, was pretty lame. “The Road Chip” had some great music and was genuinely funny in many places. Though I agree with some other reviews that this was not a movie particularly geared toward young children, I think that young adults ages 12 or 13 on up, including adults, would really appreciate it. Younger children would like the music and some of the comedic lines and scenes, too.” 4 stars

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Posted in Action/Adventure, Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this trippy sequel to the 2010 blockbuster “Alice in Wonderland,” young Alice returns from several years at sea and again passes through to the magical landscape, where she ends up journeying into the past to try to save the Mad Hatter.

What people are saying:

“A solid kids’ movie in the old style. One with something to say about something real – family and time- and a willingness to admit consequences, even as it serves up goofy humor, mild thrills, and slippy-slidey accents from slumming stars.” 2 stars

“It deviated from the actual book, but that doesn’t mean it was not entertaining. It had good messages about positive attitudes for women not to be victims of circumstance. A much needed improvement from much of the stuff many kids are watching now. ” 5 stars

“The charm found in the first Alice in Wonderland is definitely missing in the sequel. The story is a mix match of going in the past future time etc. The plot that is way too confusing for most children even some adults. The acting isn’t anything great most of the actors you can tell look like they’re in front of a green screen. Some of the special effects were nice and there’s some creativity to be found in this movie but in the end it just didn’t come together very well.” 2 stars

“I never read the Alice in Wonderland books, but I doubt this is one of them. Yes, it has that zany twisted quality you expect in Wonderland, but there is a theme running through the movie that gives it a scifi depth, “Why can’t I go back in time and change the past?” Most of the characters from the first movie are back and Cohen’s Time fits in Wonderfully. ” 5 stars

“the most offensive kind of film…one that spends an enormous amount of money yet seems to have nothing on its mind but money. You give it, they take it. And you get nothing in return but assurances that you’re seeing magic and wonder. The movie keeps repeating it in your ear, and flashing it onscreen in big block letters: MAGIC AND WONDER. MAGIC AND WONDER. But there is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive characters and landscapes and ‘action scenes’, with blockbuster ‘journey movie’ tropes affixed to every set-piece as blatantly as Post-It Notes” 1 star

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Five years after the first film, Crown Princess of Genovia Amelia “Mia” Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) has just graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and is returning to Genovia with her bodyguard Joe (Héctor Elizondo). There, she will await her reign once her grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), steps down as Queen. During Mia’s 21st birthday party, she dances with all the eligible bachelors in hope of finding a husband. She becomes attracted to a handsome gentleman named Nicholas (Chris Pine). During the course of the night, Mia’s tiara falls off and is caught by a Member of Parliament, Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) who secretly plans to steal Mia’s crown. While the Parliament is in-session the next morning, Mia stumbles upon a hidden room that allows her to secretly listen in. Viscount Mabrey reveals his nephew, Lord Devereaux, is another heir to the Genovian throne. Despite Queen Clarisse’s objection, the only way Mia can assume her duties as Queen is if she marries within the month. Clarisse invites Lord Devereaux to stay at the palace, while Mia is shocked to discover Lord Devereaux is Nicholas. Mia’s best friend Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo) surprises her by visiting. Together, they pick through potential husbands. Mia eventually chooses Andrew Jacoby (Callum Blue), Duke of Kenilworth and days later they are engaged. Mabrey plans to have Nicholas woo Mia and dissolve the engagement.

For a ceremony, Mia is to ride sidesaddle but does not know how. Queen Clarisse provides an ancestral wooden leg decoy to make it look like she’s riding sidesaddle. Mabrey spooks Mia’s horse with a rubber snake and Joe rushes to Mia’s aide, but accidentally tears off the wooden leg. Humiliated, Mia flees to the stables, where Nicholas fails to comfort her. At a garden party, Mia and Nicholas quarrel about Mia’s relationship with Andrew; Nicholas tricks Mia into admitting she doesn’t love him. Angered, she argues but instead gets bombarded by a kiss. At first, she kisses him back but then backs away. Nicholas pursues her even more, which causes both of them to fall into a fountain. Queen Clarisse finally tells Mia that her behavior with Nicholas needs to stop.

During the Genovian Independence Day parade, Mia sees some boys picking on a little girl (Abigail Breslin), and abruptly halts the parade to comfort the girl. Learning the children are orphans, Mia has a vendor give them all tiaras and lets them walk with her in the parade. Everyone is impressed by her act of generosity, while Mabrey sees it as a political maneuver. Mia later decides to convert one of the royal palaces into a temporary children’s center. That night, Mia has her bachelorette/sleepover party, where Queen Clarisse surfs on a mattress and sings a duet with Princess Asana (Raven-Symoné), one of Mia’s good friends. In the meantime, Mabrey realizes Nicholas has fallen for Mia, but Nicholas says that Mia will never love him. Nicholas comes upon Mia as she is practicing her archery as part of her coronation rites. He helps her succeed in getting the arrow to hit the bullseye, something she had been struggling with. Nicholas then informs Mia that he is leaving, but asks to see her just one more time before he goes. She declines, saying she is under close guard.

That night, Nicholas appears outside Mia’s window and asks her to come out. Lilly encourages her to go, and Mia sneaks out. They ride out to a lake where they share secrets, dance and eventually fall asleep. They awaken to find a man in a boat videotaping them. Mia thinks Nicholas set her up, while he insists he had no idea. By the time Mia gets back to the palace, the scandalous footage is already being broadcast. Andrew is disappointed and kisses Mia to see if there is a romantic spark between them. They realize they do not love each other, but do not call off the wedding for the good of Genovia. The wedding is to take place the following day, and Mia’s mother Helen (Caroline Goodall) comes with her new husband Patrick (Sean O’Bryan) and their newborn son Trevor. Nicholas decides against attending, but his surly housekeeper Gretchen informs him that Mabrey engineered their televised scandal.

Right before the wedding, Joe informs Mia that Nicholas is innocent. Queen Clarisse encourages Mia to follow her heart, something she has never done and has now cost her Joe, the only man she truly loved. Mia reenters the church, and after pointing out how her grandmother has ruled Genovia while unmarried for a number of years, she tells the members of parliament in the audience to consider the significant women in their lives (such as their wives, sisters, daughters and nieces) and questions if they would have them do what they’re trying to force her to do (marrying people they don’t love). Mabrey cites the law again and once again suggests that his nephew be named King, but just then, Nicholas not only refuses the crown, but also disowns Mabrey as his uncle. Mia proposes the law on royal marriages be abolished, and the Parliament unanimously gives its assent. Encouraged by Mia to have her own happy ending, Clarisse proposes to Joe and they are promptly married.

About a week later, Mia is preparing for her coronation when Nicholas shows up. He professes his love for Mia on bended knees, and they share a romantic kiss. The next day, Mia is crowned “Her Majesty Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, Queen of Genovia”, with all in attendance in the royal palace.

An epilogue shows that Genovian Parliament now allows female members, one of whom is Charlotte. And Queen Mia officially opens the children’s home

REVIEW:

Sometimes when the end credits roll on a film you wonder if you will ever see the characters again and what will they be up to the next time we see them, should we be privileged enough to see them again. This was the case with The Princess Diaries. The film ended in a way that left the audience wondering what happens next. Enter The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, a film that I swear I was not meant to see (up until tonight, I have never been able to watch it straight through for various reasons). With all that aside, let’s see if this film is comparable to its predecessor.

What is this about?

Directed by Garry Marshall, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement picks up where its predecessor left off — that is, with American teenager Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) reeling over the news that she is a princess within the royal family of Genovia, a little-known European nation with a population of barely 50,000. As promised, Mia, along with her best friend, Lilly (Heather Matarazzo), travels to Genovia after their high-school graduation. The unlikely princess has hardly settled into the castle, let alone begun representing the country, when she learns that a larger title is approaching more rapidly than expected; it seems as though Mia will have to take over as queen. Suddenly, in addition to further schooling on the etiquette of royalty, Mia finds herself with a daunting prospect — according to Genovian law, all princesses must be married before they can be crowned.

What did I like?

One more once. Not too long before the first film was made, Julie Andrews underwent surgery on her throat/vocal chords. The operation was a success, but she was no longer allowed to sing. I’m not sure what happened, but we get a song from her during the slumber party, albeit nowhere near as strong a vocal performance as we expect from her. Still, it is great to hear her sing a few notes.

In her skin. In this second time out, Anne Hathaway, as Princess Mia, seems much more confident both as an actress and the character as a royal. Can you imagine what this would have been like if she was still bumbling around like she was when we first met her? Granted, she does still have those moments that remind us that while she is the would be queen, the clumsy prep school girl is still in there somewhere.

Grandmother. Julie Andrews’ character is on her way out of the royal spotlight and off the throne as Mia takes her rightful place as ruler of Genovia. It is because of this that I think she is able to not be such a “stick in the mud” and be more of a grandmother towards her granddaughter. We get a few scenes where she is chewing her out, of course, but for the most part, she is the dream grandmother we all wish we had. She had poise, class, elegance, compassion…not to mention she’s Julie Freakin’ Andrews!!!

What didn’t I like?

Nevermore. Aside from her best friend, Lily, who was flown in from California (and felt a bit forced into the film), Mia seems to be close to Princess Asana. There are two glaring issues I want to bring up with this. First, if they are so close, why is Asana only in a couple of scenes? Second, who is she? How did they meet? Why are they so close? Mia grew up with Lily and they were both outsider freaks in high school, so we know that’s why they were so close, but with Asana, we get none of that. She’s just a random character that gets to sing with Julie Andrews.

Formula 1. Is it me or with every film, book, or tv show that involves a royal change of power of sorts, we get someone who wants to prove they are next in line. This is such a cliché’ nowadays. One could tell what was going to happen before it actually does, just by the film’s title and the type of film this is. Come on filmmakers, be creative!

Lionel. Joe, who is retiring when the Queen leaves the throne, is sacked with an intern in his last days. What I found odd about this guy was how he reminded me of Michael from the first film, but with darker skin and slightly shorter hair. This got me thinking…with the way Mia fawned over Michael in the first film, wouldn’t it have been a cool idea for him to show up as Lionel in disguise and be her dream ending? Of course, then Chris Pine’s whole character in this film would be worthless, but he goes on too much bigger and better things after this, so he’ll be fine.

Final verdict on The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement? Let’s see…it repeats some of the same notes from the first film. The soundtrack isn’t as catchy this go-round. Chemistry among the characters is so-so, but I actually believed it in the archery scene with Hathaway and Pine. The mattress surfing scene was perhaps the most fun part of the film. Do I recommend this? Yes, a good (non animated) family film is hard to find. While not great, it is somewhat entertaining and that’s worth something. However, I would suggest going for the first film, if you can.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

Storks

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this animated avian tale, storks have stopped bringing babies home and started delivering packages for an e-commerce giant instead. But when a stork named Junior creates a baby by mistake, the rush is on to make things right.

REVIEW:

Storks is charmless with rote obligation. This is a kid’s film for hire, with none of the creativity, emotion and design that elevate the genre to art, or even simply a fun time at the movies” 2 stars

“This flick had a great message buried underneath all of the intense ADHD but this movie was incredibly way too manic for me to follow. Seemed to be a children’s movie strictly for children. The annoyingly distracting flow of the flick couldn’t salvage the film’s positive message, talented cast, and impressive animation.” 2 stars

“Most of the movie doubles down on the mania and lacing the sugar-rush sensation with an almost lysergic sense of silliness.” 3 stars

“Enjoyable animated family movie, the colorful animation and the overdone funny voice-over does tend to focus on kids, still should be a decent watch for adults too. There are lots of hits and misses, some genuine funny moments mixed with equal amount of forced laughs, the plot and storytelling is the biggest weakness.” 3 stars

“Dull storyline, and a lot of the “humor” were not that funny. The ending picked up a bit but failed to really deliver anything really good to watch. I know this movie is about storks, but the humans are totally brain dead in this movie. Overall I found it to be a waste of time to watch.” 1 star

Sky High

Posted in Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Will Stronghold — the son of two superheroes known as the Commander and Jetstream — is the only kid at Sky High who hasn’t developed superpowers yet, which means he may be relegated to the less-than-thrilling role of a sidekick.

What people are saying:

“With a crisp and snappy visual style and its smartly paced story, Sky High pulls an incredible feat in an age of dumbed-down kids comedies; it’s as down-to-earth as it is super.” 4 stars

“A surprisingly fun and humorous look at superhero tropes by way of a high school designed specifically for the gifted vigilantes’ offspring. Though some of the humor skews a bit too young and many of the movie’s visual effects are dated in the worse way, there’s plenty of wit and pointed comic book skewering to go around — making this one pleasant surprise of a Disney family flick.” 3 stars

“It’s Disney! Written by and for High School freshmen. If you can suspend your adulthood for an hour and a half you will enjoy it. A more entertaining story on a very similar theme is found in the comic “PS 238″ The protagonist is the son of two superheroes without any superpowers (except the knack for survival)…” 3 stars

“Though the film gives some good laughs, cool sequences, a great cinemontography, and a surprisingly original story, Sky High falls flat for me. I forgot the characters, I was often bored, the CG SUCKED, and was left thinking, “Eh.” 3 stars

“Sky High is one of Disney’s best films of this decade so far. I don’t know why a lot of people are comparing it to The Incredibles. It is not like that movie at all. It’s more like a cross between X-Men and Fantastic Four. Everyone had different superpowers. I enjoyed this movie. This movie did show a lot of references to other movies and TV shows based on comic books (like Wonder Woman, Batman, Spider-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). If you are in the mood for a good, family movie, watch Sky High.” 4 stars

Beauty & the Beast (2017)

Posted in Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In Rococo-era France, an enchantress disguised as an old beggar woman offers an enchanted rose to a prince in exchange for shelter from a storm, but he refuses. For his arrogance, she places a spell that transforms him into a monstrous beast, turns the servants into anthropomorphic household objects, and erases the castle from the villagers’ memories of loved ones. She gives the Beast a magic mirror that shows faraway events and leaves him the enchanted rose. To break the spell, the prince must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose’s last petal falls, otherwise he will remain a beast forever and his servants will lose their remaining humanity.

Years later in the village of Villeneuve, a young woman, Belle, lives with her father Maurice, an artist and tinkerer. Gaston, a celebrated former soldier, seeks her hand in marriage, but she is repulsed by his arrogance and narcissism. On a trip to the market to sell music boxes, Maurice and his horse Philippe lose their way in the forest and are attacked by wolves. They seek refuge at the castle, but Maurice is imprisoned by the Beast as penance for taking a rose from the garden. When she realizes her father is missing upon Philippe’s sudden arrival, Belle ventures into the forest in search for him, and finds him locked in one of the castle’s towers. The Beast confronts her and accepts her offer to take her father’s place, despite Maurice’s objections.

Belle befriends the servants in the castle: Lumière, Cogsworth, Plumette, Madame de Garderobe, Mrs. Potts, and Chip. After the servants treated her with dinner, she eventually wanders into the forbidden west wing and finds the rose. The Beast, enraged, frightens Belle into fleeing into the woods. However, he later rescues her from a pack of wolves but gets injured in the process. Belle escorts him back to the castle and nurses him back to health. A friendship develops, and the servants tell her she may be the one who can break the curse. The Beast develops feelings for Belle and allows her access to his library. However, Belle remains uncertain of her feelings due to her imprisonment. The Beast shows Belle a gift the enchantress gave him, a book that could take people wherever they wanted. Belle uses it to bring the Beast and herself to the attic of an old windmill in Paris, where she used to live with her parents as an infant. Upon finding a plague doctor mask, Belle discovers that she and her father were forced to leave her mother’s deathbed as the latter succumbed to the plague.

Meanwhile, Maurice returns to Villeneuve but is unable to convince the others to rescue Belle. Gaston agrees to help Maurice, but when he reveals that he only agreed to help Maurice in order to win his favor to give Belle to Gaston in marriage, Maurice refuses. In response, Gaston ties up Maurice in the forest to be killed by wolves. Maurice is rescued by a hermit, Agathe and confronts Gaston, accusing him of committing an attempted murder, but Gaston convinces the townsfolk to send Maurice to the local insane asylum.

After sharing a romantic dance with the Beast, Belle discovers her father’s predicament using the magic mirror. The Beast releases her to save Maurice, giving her the mirror to remember him with. At Villeneuve, Belle proves Maurice’s sanity by revealing the Beast in the mirror to the townsfolk. Realizing that Belle loves the Beast, Gaston furiously has her thrown into the asylum carriage with her father and rallies the villagers to follow him to the castle to slay the Beast. Maurice and Belle escape from confinement and Belle rushes back to the castle while Maurice deals with Monsieur D’Arque, the asylum keeper.

During the ensuing fight, Gaston abandons his companion LeFou, who sides with the servants to fend off the villagers. Gaston attacks the Beast in his tower, who is initially too depressed to fight back, but regains his will upon seeing Belle return. He corners Gaston but spares his life before reuniting with Belle. However, Gaston fatally shoots the Beast in the back before the stone bridge he is standing on collapses beneath him, and Gaston falls to his death. The Beast dies as the last rose petal falls and the castle’s servants become completely inanimate. Belle professes her love to him, then Agathe reveals herself to be the enchantress and undoes the curse, restoring the Beast’s life and human form. The servants’ humanity and the villagers’ memories are also restored, with several villagers recognizing some of the servants as their relatives. The Prince and Belle host a ball for the kingdom, where they dance happily.

REVIEW:

One of the most beloved Disney movies of all time, or least since the Disney Renaissance is Beauty & the Beast. When a live action film was announced to be in production, you can imagine the outcry of rage and, conversely, support. For me, I try to wait until I see the finished product before I judge. Well, I just finished seeing it. Time to judge!

What is this about?

Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.

What did I like?

Bring me to life. Many have tried to bring animation to life (see the recently released Ghost in the Shell). While we are curious as to what these world would look like, it just doesn’t seem to work. That is, unless you are Disney! They literally took the beloved animated classic, made very few changes, toned it down a bit for today’s cynical audience and voila! Everything is here from the opening sequence with Belle singing, the wolves attacking Beast in the woods, the iconic ballroom scene, and even the fight with the villagers at the end. Much care was given to this project to make sure everything was exactly right and it shows!

Crazy old Maurice. In the original, we don’t get to know much about Maurice, other than he’s Belle’s father and some kind of crackpot inventor. Also, if that last scene is to believed, he may have started a little something with Mrs. Potts, but that’s open to interpretation. I really appreciate how this film gave us a little bit more insight not only into Maurice, but introduced new characters, or characters whom we didn’t know their names, such as Plumette, the feather duster Lumiere is in love with, Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe, etc. If only we would have gotten a bit more about life before they got turned into appliances and such.

Visuals. This is a beautiful film. I don’t think I’ve seen a more beautiful sight than when the camera pans back in the opening and we get a good look at the castle. That’s just the start of it, though. Without spoiling anything, your eyes are in for a treat the deeper you get into this film.

What didn’t I like?

Be original. While I appreciated the film for bringing a beloved classic to life, I can’t help but feel like they could have done something more with this material. No, I’m not talking about furthering Emma Watson’s feminist agenda, but give us something new with this story. For instance, Maleficent was told from a different point of view. Imagine if this was told from, let’s say Lefou’s point of view?

Where was the fear? I was not impressed with the look of the Beast. Sure, they tried to make him look more animal, but he had too much of a human look to him for my taste. Much like with superheroes, I feel they were trying to keep the actor’s face in the public, rather than giving us a true frightful looking beast. Also, they may have had something more blood curdling in mind, but this is a kid’s movie when all is said and done, so I can understand that. Still, the animated version was a kids film and there were times when Beast gave us jump scares. Not so much with the live action version, though.

Realistically creepy. I’ve had issues with the servants since I first saw what they did with Mrs. Potts. First off, let me say that I have no problem with the casting. My issue is with the look. These days it seems as if we want everything to look as realistic as possible. Well, the nightmare inducing versions of Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, etc. are on all of you that want things to be as real as possible. I mean, seriously, this is a fairy tale about and prince who gets turned into a beast and his servants that become the household objects in the castle. What is real about that?!? *SIGH*

Final verdict on Beauty & the Beast? Very solid for a live action remake of a beloved animated classic. The music is taken straight from the original, with a few changes here and there. The acting is solid, plenty of laughs to go around, and the new characters fit right in with the ones we already know and love. The problems I have with this film are very small, but they do add up. So, do I recommend this? Yes, especially if you’re looking for a good date or family film to check out or just want a bit of nostalgia. Check it out!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Peanuts Movie

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron

What people are saying:

“The Peanuts Movie is delightful from beginning to end and doesn’t rely on baddies, silly sidekicks or lame toilet gags to distract your munchkins.” 4 stars

“Have to admit…I sure expected to hate this film. Entirely unnecessary and not terribly relevant nevermind the stylized character design. But I saw it and it won me over! Didn’t seem the kids in the audience had much connection to the kids and Snoopy but I heard plenty of chuckles from the adults around me. And what a nice ending! Stayed true to the Peanuts we grew up with (right down to phones with long cords you can get tied up in) and even the voices seemed more right than on the specials I’ve seen lately on television.” 4 stars

“Great movie! It really feels like the old Charlie Brown. The only downside is that modern pop music that ruins the moment (kind of Rio music). It was unnecessary. I don’t think that little kids today can’t feel in touch with funny jazzy music. But overall, great product.” 5 stars

“Sorry, I love Peanuts, but this was a disappointment. It felt less like the classic holiday specials, and more like the follow-on half hour of short gags they always show on network television to keep the kids watching. Peanuts was so special because it was dark and funny at the same time. Schultz never ignored the bitter disappointments and angst that all children have to go through. He showed it to us, and got us to laugh about it. This movie doesn’t do that. I can’t assess this movie from the perspective of a child. They might find it entertaining, I don’t know. Perhaps I’m being unfair.” 2 stars

“A movie which the entire family will enjoy. Parents will like the nostalgia of the film, which stays true to Charles M. Schulz’s vision of the characters. Kids will enjoy the antics of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends, as kids have for generations. Kids loved “Peanuts” 50 years ago, and kids will love “Peanuts” 50 years from now. The Peanuts Movie is proof that you can update and modernize classic characters without having to reimagine them.” 4 stars