Archive for Family & Kids

Warner Bros, Warner Animation Group, LEGO Systems A/S,

Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Jadon Sand, Brooklynn Prince, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

This sequel to 2014’s “The Lego Movie” [Click Here for review] is a long awaited adventure back into the world of the kids and the games they play with their LEGO bricks. Sometimes “Everything’s Not Awesome” when the citizens are facing a brand new threat of LEGO Duplo invaders from outer space who are set to wrecking the world as we know it. These are amazing invaders that have the ability to reconfigure themselves into all kinds of shapes on a whim. They plan to merge the worlds into one via marriage, so the original group of characters have to try to fight to save the world.

This movie was REALLY fun. I enjoyed every second of this film. First of all, look at the cast! The interesting thing to me, was to make sense of the whole thing by switching back and forth between real life and the imaginary world of two kids sometimes multiple times in the same flight or fall. The absurdity of the huge big sound effects and musical drama to a shot of a plastic LEGO piece tied to a string flying across the bedroom is hysterical and really funny. I started into this film thinking I had wasted my money on the ticket, not to mention wasting my Saturday morning. The though, “What is the point of all this?” did cross my mind a number of times, and the quick cuts from real life to make believe jarred me and confused me. It wasn’t like Mr. Roger’s trolley that takes us back and forth between real and pretend. 🙂 But pretty soon, it hit me with the key to what is going on in the real world which makes the make belive story make sense, and I really got into it. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed the original film, but this is even better than that, and the LEGO Batman Movie [Click Here for Ed’s Review] and is the strongest of the series. I really liked this, and my grandson and my son who watched it with me all agree that it’s a good movie. Give this one a chance!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures,

John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Ed O’Neill, Taraji P. Henson, Susan Lucci, Jason Lee, Idina Menzel, Anika Noni Rose, Judy Reyes, Grant Show, Ana Ortiz, Ming-Na Wen, Rebecca Wisocky, Paige O’Hara, Linda Larkin, Mariana Klaveno, Daria Ramirez, Tom Irwin, Edy Ganem, Irene Bedard, Jodi Benson, Anthony Daniels, Gal Gadot, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Kelly Macdonald, Auli’i Cravalho

Ralph (John C Reilly) and Vanellope are still best friends. Ralph enjoys life, living in the arcade, and enjoying the down time when the Arcade is closed, but loving the sunrise every morning and looking forward to going back to Fix-It Felix. But Vanellope is looking for a bit more. She’s getting tired of the same six courses and she already knows all the secrets of the game and wants a new challenge. There is something new in the arcade though as the owner Mr Litwak (Ed O’Neill) plugs in a WiFi router to connect his business to the Internet. When Vanellope’s game is broken, She and Ralph head out through the wifi to the internet to find the missing part. Naturally things go really wrong as they always seem to do. This Disney film is a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph.

I really enjoyed this movie, although a lot of people were left feeling that it was lacking something. The problem is that a lot of people have a great deal of nostalgia for the old games in the past. I too feel a longing for the old Arcade and miss the games of old. Times were simple then, and video games today are extremely complex and I have a tough time getting into most of them. Sometimes I long for the old days when Donkey Kong jumped over barrels and a little yellow circle ran though a maze eating dots. But the internet just doens’t have that kind of nostalgia as we feel from the 70’s arcade days. There are a number of really cute references to old obsolete web sites that have long been replaced and sent to the the bit cemetery in the back realms of the internet, but nothing that really strikes a chord with the younger folks. It doesn’t hold the same kind of place in our hearts. Another problem is that Disney has gone overboard with the political correct stuff, and most of the less successful movies of late are so preachy that they really turn people off. Looking back at films like Wall-E for example are a “humans are bad” to the max experience. This movie would have been a lot better if it had not been overly skewed to the “You’re a bad friend and I don’t want you anymore” side. This movie is more about how Ralph pissed off Vanellope and she retaliates by turned against him. The key message of this film is insecurity and toxic friendship. It shouldn’t be. If you have not seen the original, then this isn’t a bad movie at all but as a sequel to the original, it’s bound to let you down as it’s just not a sweet and charming as the original. I think it could have been, but it went off course into a place I wish it hadn’t. I enjoyed it a lot, but it didn’t wow me like the original did.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Bona Film Group, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Pariah,

Ashley Judd, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jonah Hauer King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandria Shipp, Barry Watson, Wes Studi

Bella is a lonely pit bull pup who was abandoned and lost, but taken in by a mother cat. He’s adopted by Lucas, a young medical student who’s landlord does not allow dogs. Lucas works for a veteran’s hospital and sneaks Bella into the hospital to interact with the patients, but he knows he has to send Bella off 400 miles away for a while while he finds a new place to live. Unfortunately Bella escapes and undertakes a long journey to travel the 400 miles or so to find his way back home.

I actually wanted to see this, even though it looks like a really sappy dog story like many in the past, but I found myself really enjoying it to the top. Although it was obvious what would happen, the voice acting was good, and the photography is absolutely stunning. Bella naturally makes a few friends along the way, which really added to the story a LOT, and it was very touching, but insanely interesting. I was pulled in through the entire story, and really enjoyed a nice relaxing evening in the recliner chairs, munching popcorn, and enjoying the journey. I highly recommend this film for #1 – dog lovers who are going to love the dog story. #2 – Parents and grandparents who want to really enjoy a PG movie with the little ones who will also love this, and #3 – basically anyone who wants to relax and enjoy a pleasant story with a happy ending. I found this movie really well done, and the live action animal actors really entertaining. Furthermore, it does bring up some really good issues to talk about, or at least think about after the film. This is a winner!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

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Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios

Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Jaime Camil, Alfonso Arau, Sofía Espinosa, Selene Luna, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Renée Victor, Luis Valdez, Herbert Siguenza, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Gabriel Iglesias, John Ratzenberger, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Lombardo Boyar, Dyana Ortelli

Miguel (Anthony Gonzales) wants to be a musician like his ancestor Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) who had died, but was loved and revered as one of the greatest guitar player and singers of all times. But when Ernesto left his wife to make his name as a singer, she banned music from the family entirely. Miguel has to sneak away to play the guitar. A series of tragic events brings Miguel to the “Land of the Dead” where those who are remembered are able to cross back over to the land of the living, but Miguel is more interested in finding Ernesto than finding his way back home. In the process he may uncover the truth as to why music is forbidden in their family.

This musical fantasy film from Pixar is another really strong entry from the Disney owned studio. This is a really colorful movie and the animation is exquisitely done. The music is fun, and the story is really interesting. Good for kids and adults, this is an all around hit. The Mexican culture is a real treat to see and learn. It is really a fascinating story and I really enjoyed this movie, even though it took me a while to get out and see it. I got really ill the week before Christmas and it was a rough season, which is why this site hasn’t been updated for ages. This was really the only film I got to see over the holidays, and I’m glad I got out to see it. It is one of the best family movies I have seen in a long time. This is one to see if you haven’t done it yet.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Tashmoo Productions, Amber Entertainment, Belladonna Productions

Willa Holland, Amy Jo Johnson, Tatanka Means, Elise Eberle, Cynthia Stevenson, Lucien Dale, Forrest Fyre, Russell Means

Davey Wexler (Willa Holland) is a young lady still in school, and loves her life in Atlantic City with her parents and her little brother. But when her father is killed in a robbery, and her mother finds herself lost and in deep grief and taking too many pills, she decides to take Davey and her brother to New Mexico to live temporarily with her sister’s family. But her mother seems to be slipping further and further from reality and Davey is getting more and more frustrated and having a really hard time fitting in at the new school. Davey goes for a journey to the canyon, and meets a strange guy named “Wolf” (Tatanka Means) and they hit it off in a very beautiful friendship. Wolf is a secretive and has walls as high as Davey’s but he still manages to teach her to look at life from a different point of view and to face and overcome the many obstacles in her life and to change her point of view completely. This is a touching and classic book by world famous author Judy Blume and her husband Lawrence Bloom wrote the screenplay and directed this heartwarming story.

This is another of those films that I missed years ago in it’s release due to Netflix’s DVD throttling practices and it finally bubbled up to the top of my queue. What a wonderful story and very well done performances. A lot of it is filmed on location in the mountains of New Mexico. This is a perfect story for preteen and early teen girls, like most of Judy’s books, and is a perfect story for them, but the value of the softly told story, definitely not in your face, I found I really enjoyed it as well. It has much of the feel of a Wonderful World of Disney TV movie from back in the 60’s but is much deeper than those. Wolf is, of course, a native American who has a lot of love for his culture and heritage, and a few secrets of his own. He did a wonderful job in performing this role, and was perfectly cast. Willa is an amazing actress. I have to admit I was very impressed with her performance. She can portray pages of dialog with just her expression and when she’s wordless, is some of the best moments in the film. From shock, to pain, to frustration, to worry, to love and caring, it’s all there in the emotion her face can portray. She was superb in this movie and is building a large volume of work. The location and the majestic scenery is also stunning. All in all, this little film is an excellent hidden gem that I didn’t know about, but was very happy to stumble upon. It was a pleasure. This is one of those films, that, when it was finished, I went back and watched it all over again with the commentary by Judy and Lawrence Blume, which was every bit as good as the movie itself. The love and caring they put into this story, and the hard work and dedication the cast put into playing the part, makes this a very worthwhile film to watch. Look for it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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