Archive for Animation

Studio Ghibli,

Nobuo Tobita, Toshihiko Seki, Yoko Sakamoto, Yuri Amano, Kae Araki, Jun’ichi Kanemaru, Ai Satô, Aya Hisakawa, Tomokazu Seki, Hikaru Midorikawa

Taku (Nobuo Tobita) is a young first year college student who returns back home to the seaside town of Kochi a little town on an island in Japan. When he arrives home for his high school reunion, he is reminiscing of his Junior year in high school and the young beautiful city girl Rikako Muto (Yoko Sakamoto) who transferred to Tokyo to his school. Stuck by her immediately, both are young and inexperienced in life, and have to go through many trials and tribulations, fights and disagreements, but when she doesn’t return to the reunion, Taku finally learns the truth and sets off for the city to find her again.

This is one of the most stunning films from Studio Ghibli which brought us 2001’s Spirited Away, 2003’s academy award winner for Best Animated film, and 2010’s The Secret World of Arrietty [CLick Here for Ed’s Review], this is an older film (1993) but every bit as good or better than the previous ones (and more) from Studio Gibli. This one has received a great makeover and is now available on DVD in the Unites States, and it’s not dated or old in the least. In fact, it’s one of the greatest coming of age stories of a young couple who don’t know they’re in love than any live action film I have seen that tries to touch the subject. Everything is simply spectacular. The story is very touching and the word that comes to mind is subtle, as it’s never pushy or in your face, but very tactfully told. The animation is completely stunning, and many of the scenes, especially in the city, you will forget that you’re watching animation. It’s animation is simply amazing. The movie is in Japanese, with English subtitles, but I think that was an excellent choice as the background music and score of this movie is as good as any Hollywood has done. If you are a lover of animation, this is simply a must see film, and is very, very worthy of the 4.5 stars I have given to it. The only problem is that you will have to focus and read the subtitles to get the touching story, but it’s well worth it as you need to pay attention to the detail and beauty of the animation. This is a love story as good as any, and well worth the extra effort to really pay attention to what you are seeing. I highly recommend this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures,

Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Jemaine Clement, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), is a Polynesian teen who is set to be the leader of her people. But an ancient curse has made it’s way to Moana’s island. Their tribe has never traveled off their island, but Moana is excited to learn that her ancestors traveled all over, and she learns that the curse was caused by a demigod, Maui (Dwayne Johnson) who has disappeared. We watch her on her journey to find Maui and convince him to come back to make the situation right again.

This Disney animated film reminds me of Lilo and Stitch a lot. The story is cute enough, and everyone raves about the music. But I had a few issues with this film. First of all, this movie is too much “Rock”. Some voice actors can create a character voice that is unique and very interesting. Others like Mr. Rock can only play themselves, and throughout the entire performance, there is no doubt that you’re listening to Dwayne Johnson, and that is a huge distraction. The story is also rather plodding, and never really caught my interest fully, so it was hard to watch. I have been waiting and waiting for this film, and I guess my expectations were way too high, and I was let down quite a bit. Not that it’s bad, mind you, but just disappointing. So the kids will enjoy the film, and the music is really good, and the highlight of the film. It’s a quality Disney movie, but just a bit of a let down from their usual quality.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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DreamWorks Animation

Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Ron Funches, Kunal Nayyar, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Cleese, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski

A race of sad, grumpy creatures called Bergens have never had happiness. But there is a race of treasure trolls that live nearby, and when one of the Bergens ate a Troll, he felt happy, so the Bergens started a tradition of eating trolls on a holiday called Trollstice, the only day that they could experience happiness. This year the young prince is scheduled to taste his first Troll, but when he tastes it he finds it’s fake, and the real Trolls have escaped. The Bergens want to find the Trolls to bring them back, but the Trolls are running for their lives to find freedom from this awful holiday.

This is an animated film from Dreamworks, the team that brought us the Shrek movies, but this story based on the toys kids used to have called Treasure Trolls is not another Shrek, unfortunately. This is a dark story that even little kids will understand that the monsters are EATING the trolls. This is really a bit dark, and there is no real interesting story that keeps the adult interest either, so I didn’t find it very good. I think perhaps they were out after the audience of middle aged adults that would remember these toys and look back with a fond remembrance of them to pull in an audience, but even as a rental, this movie had not oomph. They have a marvelous cast, and it’s kind of a shame, but it just did not ever get off the ground for me. A lot like the smurfs, but with much less story power and nobody eats the Smurfs. All in all I thought it was a bust, and not worth the rental. I could be wrong, and there could be an age of older children, especially boys who could find this cool, but for the most part, I don’t think the kids are going to like this very much either. Wait for something better to assault them with. Skip this.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment,

Matt Ryan, Camilla Luddington, Jason O’Mara, JB Blanc, Ray Chase, Enrico Colantoni, Roger R. Cross, Jeremy Davies, Rosario Dawson, Brian T. Delaney, Alfred Molina, Jerry O’Connell, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Jeff Parise, Laura Post, Nicholas Turturro

The Justice League, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. band together to fight a group of evil super villains, including John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan, who are using magic to create evil and chaos. It’s an all out battle of good and evil.

As you know, I’m not a big superhero/comic book fan by any means. But I really hated sitting through this movie. It’s TV type low quality animation with low quality voices and dialog, and a very boring story. This is stuff that is typical Saturday Morning cartoon stuff but R rated. Sometimes the R rating is because the depth of the story is too difficult and mature for kids, but this is just a lot of swearing. There’s no reason why it needed tp be like that, as it’s simply wasted. So not for kids (boys) who might like it, and not interesting enough from adults, there may a few fans of this type of film, but it didn’t work in the least for me. I even found myself so disinterested in the film, that I turned it off and tried again the next day. After looking at the reviews of the guys that loved this, I thought maybe I was wrong, and I try to never review a movie that I haven’t seen start to end, so I watched it again yesterday. It was just a bad the second time through. I would suggest avoiding this like the plague.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Hammer & Tongs, Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures,

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson

Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is the owner of a failing theater in the city. He has an idea to host a talent show and pay the owners 1000.00 which is the last of his money, but a clerical error prints the flyers at $100,000. Hundreds of animals line up for a chance to audition to win the grand prize including a misunderstood gorilla son, a very shy elephant, and a fun mixture of musical animals. Buster needs help to try to save the theater or it’s all lost.

On the day after Christmas 5 of my grandchildren and their parents, and my wife and I saw Sing in 3D. I have been waiting for this one for quite some time. I was not disappointed. This was a beautiful little film. The music is really good and the comedy was non-stop. Everyone from the smallest 6 year old to the oldest 65 (myself) and every one in between thought it was really good. The animation is top notch and the picture is great. There are some great voices in there, and the characters were very well played. I must say, “Very Well Done”. If you get a chance to catch this one in the theater, don’t miss the opportunity. Give yourself one more Christmas present this year!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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