Archive for April, 2016

Conglomerate Media, Lensbern Productions,

Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jon Heder, David Henrie, Jodie Sweetin, Armando Gutierrez, Arthur L. Bernstein, Ayla Kell, Hunter Gomez, Taylor Gray, Kate Katzman, Flora Bonfanti

Based on the book of the same name, this film follows Walt Disney youthful dreams and plans through the hard years starting out as an animator and following his dreams through several huge failures before discovering a little fellow named Mickey and making the famous statement that “It all started with a mouse!”

I really enjoyed this film very much. I have always been a fan of Mr. Disney, especially since I was born at the right time when he was reaching the peak of his success. I was one that ran home from school every day to get there in time to watch the Mickey Mouse Club on TV each afternoon. During the years I worked at the studio, when I would walk through the Legends Plaza I would stop at the plaque with Annette Funicello’s name and handprints, as Annette was my first celebrity crush when I was 10 like everyone else my age. I have heard the early stories of Walt’s difficult life, and his attempts to learn the animation business that was just starting. He was taken advantage of by much wiser and more crooked corporate folks and learned the hard way that the only way to survive was to own his own content, a lesson that he never ever forgot through the rest of his too short life. Thomas Ian Nicholas did a superb job as Walt, and I was duly impressed. Jon Heder played Roy Disney, and was Jon Heder. Many people did not care for Jon’s portrayal, but Roy was not a very vibrant character in real life either, and was the much needed money man who kept Walt’s fantasy from soaring out of control and crashing and burning. Roy kept Walt under control and often held him back from being too out there by bringing it back home many times. There are so many stories and anecdotes from Walt’s life, so keep in mind that this is a very focused look at a decade from the time Walt set out on his own to be an animator until the first Mickey cartoon was finally shown. It does not cover the big animated successes, Disneyland, the Burbank studios, Disney and all those things which are very well documented in many other films, particularly Disney’s own “The Reluctant Dragon” which shows the whole process in great detail at the new studios in Burbank (at the time). This film looks at live in Marceline, and Kansas City, and Walt’s first Laugh-o-gram studios. It follows the trip to California and the final setting up of the Hyperion Ave studio. Most of the time the guys worked out of a garage. It also helps us to get to know many of the early guys who worked with Walt to build his studios, many of which were lifetime friends and companions, and some who back-stabbed him and left to work for other companies. No one was as successful in the end as Walt was, but there were many hard times along the way. This film is available for streaming now that it’s been released on DVD and is easy to find. Aside for the great historical information, the film is also a heart-warming story of how sticking to your hopes and dreams can pay off with lots of hard work and willingness to fail before you can succeed. This was an excellent film, and I highly recommend it to all who may be interested.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Roth Films, Universal Pictures,

Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Nick Frost, Sam Claflin, Rob Brydon

Long before Snow White the kingdoms were run by the evil queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt). Freya was in love, but was betrayed and she become bitter and hateful. Her powers arrived and she had the abilities of snow and ice, and headed out to the North to find her own kingdom. Her soldiers would conquer the other kingdoms and bring the young people to her ice castle in the North where she trained them to be her army while outlawing love. But a young huntsman Eric (Chris Hemsworth), the best male warrior and Sara (Jessica Chastain) the greatest female warrior fell in love and found themselves banished while the sisters set out to conquer the whole land and each other in an all out war.

This is such a very well done film. The actors, all four leads, are all extremely accomplished actors in their own right, but together they make an assemblage that is spectacular to watch. The special effects are fantastic, and there’s humor (especially with a group of dwarfs the join the heroes to fight the war) and lots of action in the battle scenes. The settings are breathtaking, including the snow and ice effects and such. The story is very strong and a very fitting prequel to the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This was a really well done film and one of the best I have seen in a long time. Along with Disney’s Jungle Book, this is a very stunning time for feature films. Be sure to see both of these two films. This was a great experience, and this is one of those films you got to see on a big screen. This is what is best about going to theater. You can’t help but enjoy a night out for a blockbuster experience like this. Be sure not to miss it!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday April 26, 2016


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Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Bagdasarian Productions,

Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Jason Lee, Bella Thorne, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Tony Hale

Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, and their potential step brother are under the impression Dave (Jason Lee) has gone to Miami with his new girlfriend to propose to her breaking up their happy home. They decide to set out for Miami to try to stop it, but after getting thrown off the plane by an angry air marshall, the guys have to hit the road to try to get there in time, falling into lots of problems while being chased by the marshall who wants to take them in.

Some of the previous sequels have been pretty poor, but this one is surprisingly good. The story is clever and the songs are current hits. There’s no Chipettes here which is a good thing I think. The locations are fun, and the story is cute. We’re very familiar with the voices and the characters now, so we can just jump in and get rolling right away. The jokes are Chipmunk jokes, so they’re pretty corny, but all in all it’s a fun ride across the countryside. I am glad that they made this one, and I really enjoyed it. I can recommend this one as the least sucky of the whole recent bunch of Chipmunk flicks and it’s really a enjoyable experience. I liked it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Fairview Entertainment, Moving Picture Company (MPC), Walt Disney Pictures,

Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, Neel Sethi

Disney brings us the live action Jungle Book based on their animated film based on Rudyard Kipling’s books. Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is raised by a pack of wolves until he gains the unwanted attention of Shere Kahn, the fiercest Lion in the Jungle. The panther Bagheera who found him, tries to take him back to the man village, but the journey is plagued with danger and the eventual meeting with Shere Kahn.

This live action version of the classic Disney film is by far the most successful of the animated to live films that Disney has been trying lately. Mostly I suspect this is due to the quality of the writing and the original stories. There are many surprises in this film and many things that have led to it’s huge success. First is Jon Favreau who is an excellent director who has outdone himself here. Second is the intense world developed by the animators of this stunning look at the jungle created on Disney’s lot in Burbank. The lighting, shadow, and details down to every hair is absolutely breathtaking. Then there’s the tribute to the original, while still making this a grown up totally different experience for those like me who have seen the original over and over again. The characters are mostly the same, and the major story points are pretty similar, but it juts off at a couple places that really makes this experience new. Then there’s the music. How can we beat Louis Prima’s “I Wanna Be Like You” or Phil Harris’ “Bear Necessities”. Well they did use much of the same music, though not all, but in a completely new and modern style that will let you remember the tune and the gist of the story, but with many new words and different sounds that make it feel like a new song in many ways. Unlike the cartoon, the music isn’t the main feature, but a background reminder of what you’re watching in a whole new light. Then there is the really exciting and fun voices. Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie is fabulous. But all the voice talent is top notch, that’s for sure. Finally, the performance of Neel Sethi as Mowgli. There are whole clips on YouTube about how he was selected, and this kid is as unexpected as the stars of Slumdog Millionaire when it arrived on the scene. All the buzz is about this fellow, and he was unbelievably good. This is a must see film, so don’t miss out. Catch this one right away while it’s still in the theater on the BIG screen….the BIGGER the BETTER!!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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