Archive for Family & Kids

Coram Deo Studios, Birchwood Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

AJ Michalka, James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Shawnee Smith, Michael Welch, Jamie Grace, Emma Catherwood, Chris Ellis

Gracie Trey (AJ Michalka) is the daughter of a well known “one-hit wonder” singer Johnny Trey (James Denton) who gave up his career at the peak in order to serve as the musical director of his church. Gracie has been raised as a Christian girl, and plays in the group that performs at the church, but Gracie has a great deal more talent than anyone realizes, and she wants to do her own music. When Dad’s old hit song suddenly gains a lot of ground on YouTube, Frank Mostran (Kevin Pollak) who is his former manager approaches him to make a new version on the song and kick start his career all over again, but Johnny wants nothing to do with it. Behind his back, Gracie contacts Frank, and since she is now 18 decides to move to LA to seek a career of her own, but the pressures and difficulties of making a start are more than she imagines, and when things really start to heat up, Gracie is forced to look at what is most important in her life when her values are threatened to crumble.

AJ Michalka has scored a number of commercials and TV roles and is a very beautiful and talented musician, coming from a musical family of her own. She really shines in this film. It’s a little movie, but a very well done story without the usual preachiness of pure Christian films, but filled with good messages, hard choices, and inspiring characters. The story moves along quickly and really sucks you in to the story. What is the true cost of our dreams? When is it no longer worth it if the cost is too high? How do you find a middle ground, walking along the fence without toppling to one side or the other. There are all feelings you’ll have watching this film. Very good acting, and a cleverly written script with some really good music thrown in. All in all, this movie was a hidden gem, and I’m glad it bubbled up in my queue until I was finally able to see it. It was well worth it, and I highly recommend this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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DC Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Lin Pictures,

Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Mariah Carey

Batman (Will Arnett) is a loner, but we find he’s just really afraid of being a part of a family again after the terrible thing that happened to his family, but the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) is up to his usual tricks and is planning to break the entire city apart (literally) by joining up with all the other bad guys. Batman finds he can’t do it on his own, no matter how stubborn he is, and may have to accept a little help from a gaggle of friends willing to help out.

This darn movie really surprised me a lot. I really didn’t think it could be anything but cheesy, but dang, I think this is perfect fodder for the grown up little boy in me. Granted, my grandkids who love both Batman and LEGOs really loved it too, but I found the PG-13 in it gave us really funny over their heads zingers that made it really entertaining (and did I say funny) to me as well. This was really well done. With some really fine voice actors including The ‘Puter voice played by Siri herself. I mean there must be a dozen top stars and great talents in this movie along with a lot of other interesting characters that I couldn’t identify. It was a laugh fest from start to finish, and very well animated. I never had the patience for putting LEGO projects together, but I sure had a lot of fun watching the quirks and characteristics these plastic people gave me along with their plastic world. They play it so straight with tongue firmly in the cheek and I found myself laughing out loud many times. I’m sorry I missed seeing this with the grandkids in the theater, but it was sure enough fun watching the DVD at home. This is one of the nicest animated films I’ve seen in a while. Great job guys!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Bill and Ben Productions, Wachafilm

Brian Cox, Natascha McElhone, Jack Smith, Philip Jackson, Toby Stephens, Anne Reid, Kate Ashfield, Richard Strange

Georgie Gallagher (Jack Smith) is a young boy attending a private school for underprivileged children, is having a tough time. He lives with his single Mom since his father was killed in a car crash. He loves football, but though he has a lot of talent, he’s not got any training whatsoever. When he steals an elderly man’s wallet, he gets caught, but he doesn’t know it, the man is none other than the beloved retired coach of Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby (Brian Cox). Matt is carrying a heavy load of his own, and he agrees not to press charges against Georgie as long he will be allowed to coach them. They agree as they want to play in a tournament but do not have an adult coach. What Matt’s really wants to do though is to continue his life’s work of trying to teach boys to be good men. This is based on the true events that happened to Georgie Gallagher and Matt Busby.

This is a touching feel good movie based upon the true story. It’s got the usual TV special type drama, and the game comes down tied to the last seconds as the boys learn all about life. Nothing is easy for Georgie as he has a lot to deal with in his young life, but it is emotionally charged and a really feel good movie. The title comes from the line Matt teaches Georgie that if you “Believe, you can score the goal with your eyes shut.” Nice film for kids, especially those who enjoy soccer, as there aren’t enough good soccer films out there for youngsters. But it’s bound to leave a lot of adults with misty eyes too as the clock ticks down to the last second. This is a good family film. Recommended.

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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Mandeville Films, Walt Disney Pictures,

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson

This live action version of the classic Disney feature Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, the beautiful daughter of Maurice (Kevin Kline) who is captured and imprisoned in the cursed enchanted castle of The Beast (Dan Stevens). In order to break the curse, the Beast must learn to love, but also be loved in return. Naturally we all are cheering with the hope that love once again conquers all.

This is a film that could have come out completely different. Disney wanted to NOT make this film a musical, and tell a story without the songs. But the songs are far too amazing to be left behind, and it would have been a huge disaster. As it is, there is a lot of time, a lot of additional backstory, and the correction of a few error that makes this as familiar as ever, but with much more richness and beauty to add and make it a must see. The story is handled with loving care, and the things that are added to it only made it better. Emma Watson is beautiful as Belle, and a lot of her personal strength and attitude went into it as she added few changes to the role that fixed the story. It is stunningly beautiful, from the ugly castle, to the snowy forest filled with wolves, to the ballroom scene. This version of the mandatory Be Our Guest song is wonderfully done. SO many things could have gone wrong to ruin this movie, but it is perfect. This certainly came together well and will ensure Disney has enough money to shoot themselves in the foot again in the future, but this time they came through unscathed. And from the audience reaction to the trailer for the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, it seems that one is a lock too. I completely loved this film and will definitely add this to my list of memories I will never lose. This was a very good movie, and one I encourage everyone to get out to see while you can! It’s definitely worth it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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