Archive for Alanna Ubach


Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2018 by Mystery Man


Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

What people are saying:

“At every imaginative juncture, the filmmakers (the screenplay is credited to Pixar veteran Molina and Matthew Aldrich) create a richly woven tapestry of comprehensively researched storytelling, fully dimensional characters, clever touches both tender and amusingly macabre, and vivid, beautifully textured visuals” 4 stars

“None of Coco‘s few flaws can fatally undermine the film because it is, most of all, a smart and enduring piece of storytelling with a satisfyingly twisting narrative and richly complex theme. ” 4 stars

Cocos rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly—and deeply affecting—approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death” 5 stars

“The topic this movie handles is unconventional, but it doesn’t take away from the humour, the fun and the insanity that we come to expect from Pixar. They balanced the topic well and respectfully to the culture the topic relates to. Truly one of the best movies in it’s class.” 5 stars

“Once again, leave it to a kid flick to show the adults how to tackle a film about inclusiveness, acculturation and celebrating heritage. Young Miguel Rivera disobeys his family’s perplexing ban on music to pursue his dream of becoming an accomplished, strumming virtuoso. Pixar strikes tear-jerking gold with its first lead Latino character and a story that resonates in a climate where Dreamers face unknown, frightful futures and accepting those with different beliefs and backgrounds still proves a challenge.” 3 1/2 stars


Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2018 by Mystery Man


In the sequel to the hit comedy Sister Act, Whoopie Goldberg reprises her role of Deloris Van Cartier, a Las Vegas entertainer who hid out with in a convent of nuns to avoid a nasty bunch of gangsters. In Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Deloris is persuaded to return to the convent by the Mother Superior (Maggie Smith), because her help is needed in teaching their choral students at St. Francis High in San Francisco. However, St. Francis is in a crisis, since the administrator running the school (James Coburn) is threatening to shut the place down. If the gospel choir wins first place in a singing contest in Los Angeles, St. Francis will be saved from the priest’s plans.

What people are saying:

“While the kids may sing a storm when at last they get down to mixing Beethoven, gospel and rap, in the good clean fun department this is monumentally weak and derivative.” 2 stars

“One must remember this is sequel and will probably not be as good as the first movie. Personally I really don’t like sequels all that much but see them anyway. Most of time they have the same plot as the first one. If the first film made a lot of money, It will continue on the same theme without being that good because they don’t have be to make money. So one should keep that in mind when viewing this movie. It’s okay but with no suprises. Whoopi Goldberg usually does well in comedies and will probably to continue with this type of role. In this movie she helps school children with their music abilities they don’t seem to know that they have until she as a nun comes along. A good movie but certainly not a great one. See the movie and form your own opinions. ” 3 stars

“I love this movie — Lauryn Hill singing, Maggie Smith vs. James Coburn, just wonderful music. I don’t know why it got such a low rating…I’ve gotta watch it every year at least. It’s such fun! Look at the discrepancy between the audience reviews and the critics — critics can’t always tell you what’s going to life your heart. She even quotes my favorite poet/philosopher Rilke. I’m a songwriter with major label credits and I just love the music — Lauryn Hill singing His Eye Is on the Sparrow slays me…and the final competition number is absolute joy. Glee fans should enjoy it too!” 5 stars

“Unfortunately, the sequel took a very cliche attempt of “reaching the children’s hearts” and tried for a more heartwarming feel good kind of film while the plot seemed to kill whoopi’s skills in comedy, since her comedy from the first film would have been somewhat inappropriate for this film. However what wasn’t filtered of Whoopi’s humour is worth at least knew watch even though it’s more or less a film that has you saying “I’d rather watch the good one”. Whoopi at least saves ut to be a half decent movie even though the script seems fairly unbelievable and predictable.” 2 1/2 stars

“It’s heart is definitely in the right place, but only the Good Lord Above knows where the hell its brain is. Goldberg throws her nun disguise back on for absolutely no reason, other than to lead an aged plot concerning a class of unruly kids learning to respect one another, and themselves. It turns out to be nice enough, and the music is as awesome as ever. But while the first one was loveably daft, this one’s just numbingly stupid.” 2 stars

Meet the Fockers

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2016 by Mystery Man


Now that Greg Focker is “in” with his soon-to-be in-laws, Jack and Dina Byrnes, it looks like smooth sailing for him and his fiancée, Pam. But that’s before Pam’s parents meet Greg’s parents, Bernie and Roz Focker. The hyper-relaxed Fockers and the tightly-wound Byrneses are woefully mismatched from the start, and no matter how hard Greg and Pam try, there is just no bringing their families together.

What people are saying:

“It was okay, wouldn’t exactly say it’s terrible or great either, somewhere in the middle. Good time if you’re watching it with some family members or friends. For those who are critical about film, give it a skip.” 3 stars

“The sequel’s comedy level is what I was I expecting from its predecessor. Thanks to its original and new cast, their chemistries bring laughs equally as well more warmth; making this sequel better, despite the questionable silliness that turns into a minor plot-hole. ” 4 stars

“Proof that great actors can make terrible movies. Apparently DeNiro, Hoffman and Streistan are padding their bank accounts for old age. Stupid, predictable and unfunny.” 1 star

“I loved this whole premise, what a great cast of characters ! Love Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman’s chemistry, then throw in Barbara Streisand and you have a winner combination! I laughed til I cried through most of the movie. I highly recommend it if there is anyone left on the planet that hasn’t seen it yet.” 5 stars

“While it does contain strong hints to it’s predecessor, Meet The Fockers gets plenty of fresh humor from the addition of Hoffman and Streisand, and the content is delivered perfectly by a great cast.” 4 stars

A Haunted House

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2013 by Mystery Man


A young couple, Malcolm and Kisha, move in together and start to realize there is paranormal activity roaming the house as they also try to keep their relationship on track.


I have long wondered why it is the Wayans gave up the Scary Movie franchise. Judging by A Haunted House, it would seem that they missed it. Well, at least Marlon did. Can this stand up to other horror spoofs, or is just another forgettable parody flick overstuffed with pop culture references?

What is this about?

In this spoof of horror films like Paranormal Activity, Marlon Wayans stars as an immature guy who’s frightened when he learns the girlfriend who just moved in with him has been possessed by a demonic spirit.

What did I like?

Found footage. Never have I been a fan of found footage. To me, they seem to a lazy form of filmmaking similar in manner to the way that reality shows are a lazy form of “entertainment”. I’ve been wondering when we were going to get a full-on spoof on this genre, especially since more and more films are using this technique, much to my chagrin

What didn’t I like?

Unfunny. Maybe it is just me, but I was expecting this film to be at least somewhat funny, but it wasn’t. I felt as if it was trying too hard to recapture the magic of Scary Movie, but just can’t do it. If anything, it comes off as trying too hard. Truth be told, the only time I laughed was during the farting sequence. Never is it a good sign when the highlight of your film is a farting sequence!

Couple. The best characters were the ones that didn’t get used that much, such as the couple next door, the cousin, or the ghost hunter. This could have been a much better film had they have had more of the focus placed on them, as opposed to having a laser-like focus on Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins’ characters.

Gay. Two things about this film involved homosexuality, or at least it was implied. The first, I had no problem with, and that was a character played by Nick Swardson…although, he did become annoying very quickly. The issue I did have was in a scene where Wayans’ is raped by this unseen entity. Was that really necessary? I think not. There are a myriad of other things that could have been done to him, but someone thought that anal rape was worth a laugh, but it wasn’t.

I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that A Haunted House was as bad as this. Spoof films have not had the best track record since the Wayans left the Scary Movie franchise, but I was willing to give this a shot. For all its ineptitude, I do see promise here, if the studio wants to take a chance and turn this into a franchise, but it has to be done right. Having said that, I cannot recommend this at this time, unless you just want to have something playing in the background for your Halloween party.

2 out of 5 stars

Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by Mystery Man



In this campy comedy, Vietnam vet Sal — tortured by his poolboy past — returns home to find that Mexicans have cornered the pool-cleaning market. Sal sets off on a mission to reclaim his vocation and get revenge on the man who killed his family.


Remember not that long ago when Kevin Sorbo was lighting up the syndicated small screen as Hercules? Now, the poor guy is reduced to signing autographs at comic cons and doing direct to DVD flicks. Having seen the guy at con a few weeks ago, you wouldn’t be able to tell it was him since he’s gotten so small, no to mention he looks twice his age. He did, however, return to Herculean form…sort of…in God of War 3.

So, what is the point of all that? Well, Sorbo is quite the action star, or at least he was. He also can take and make a joke, as well, which is all Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury is, a big joke. Now, I mean that in the best possible way, because, as horrible as this film is, it is also great.

In the spirit of films that are totally aware of how bad they are, this one goes all the way with the jokes and whatnot, even making it a veritable film within a film, if you will, as it is introduced by it pseudo-director, who goes on to describe the experience of filming it, and filling in for the  star, etc.

I know that I have some weird tastes in movies, but I love these spoof type flicks, especially the ones that don’t even try to take themselves seriously. Black Dynamite started out that way, but somewhere along the way it tried to become a real film.

Now, this film looks like it would be the worst picture ever made, and it quite possibly could have been if not for some of the ludicrous jokes and over-the-top action that really sell it.

I will say, though, that there is a little bit of a momentum killer about half way through that the film never recovers from. Who would have thought in a film like this that 5 minute porn-type scene would kill things, huh?

Alright, look, Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury is definitely not for everyone, but it is the kind of mindless fun that some of us out there are drawn to. No, there isn’t anything great about this flick, but you’re sure to remember it when you’re done watching. Do I recommend this? Yes, but be warned that this is not…I repeat NOT!!! a serious film, but rather a spoof and you should remember that when watching, otherwise you’ll be wondering why something like this was even made. Yes, it is so bad that it is good.


4 out of 5 stars