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movie review

Thor: Ragnarok – one of Marvel’s best so far

Almost every early review of Marvel Studios’ new super hero movie “Thor: Ragnarok” cites how this is the funniest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies yet… and they’re right. The film gets laugh after laugh from the audience from a wide variety of jokes… Read More »Thor: Ragnarok – one of Marvel’s best so far

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – my spoiler-free review

JJ Abrams had a Galaxy sized problem to solve in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” how to re-launch a cherished movie franchise in a way that respected the past while still being relevant to modern movie going audiences. Episode VII had to do all that… Read More »Star Wars: The Force Awakens – my spoiler-free review

Disney’s Big Hero 6 Review – A Uniquely Disney Take on Super Hero Kids

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The latest animated feature from Disney, “Big Hero 6,” is a fast-paced, visually rich 3-D computer animated feature that is a clever reflection of the world we live in today with lessons we can use to build a better tomorrow. Just like in “Frozen,” Walt Disney’s animators rise to the task and deliver a wonderful story, with complex characters, that is both unique and uniquely Disney at the same time.

At the center of Big Hero 6 is a boy named Hiro Hamada. Hiro and his older brother have both experienced a lot of loss in their life, and they’re each dealing with it in different ways. Tadashi, the older brother, is applying himself in school, while Hiro is using his robotic skills to win in the underground robot fights. A series of circumstances drives Hiro to finally apply himself and, with the help of friends, overcome great odds to deliver justice.

Based on a Marvel comic book, Big Hero 6 is Disney’s first super hero animated feature. But in this case the heroes are all scientists, nerds, and geeks. Which I think is a great model for kids today. In the movie STEM is front and center as being important focus of learning. That’s definitely new from Disney too.

The movie is set in the fictional town of San Fransokyo, but as the name suggests it looks as if San Francisco and Tokyo had a baby. The overall design also lends itself to a slight, kawaii-Japanese animation feel. The animators have packed so much detail into the cityscape that you can probably see the movie numerous times and not see it all.
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DVD Review: Maleficent Brings Fire to Fairytale retold

With the hit movie Maleficent, Disney took on a big challenge, not only would the attempt to retell the story of Sleeping Beauty, one of Walt Disney’s animated classics, but they’d be doing it in live-action. However, as soon as everyone heard that Angelina Jolie… Read More »DVD Review: Maleficent Brings Fire to Fairytale retold

Review: Disney’s Maleficent – Angelina Jolie Stars as Betrayed Fairy

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In the original Walt Disney Animated Classic “Sleeping Beauty” you get the feeling that the evil fairy Maleficent was more than just slighted at not getting an invite to Aurora’s christening. Instead, Maleficent was driven to the evil she became by some prior act. The new live-action version of that story, “Maleficent,” takes that idea and runs with it.

In the new film, movie-goers are entreated to learn another version of that story. One that flips the version you know and love on its head. A story of love, power, and misplaced trust that leads to betrayal of the deepest sort. The kind of betrayal that will cause one to do unspeakable things. Finally there is vengeance and the madness that comes from knowing you are the cause of your own sadness and loss.

As you can tell, these are some adult themes for a PG movie. The film never quite strikes the balance between telling a complicated story and presenting a movie the whole family can love. As such, it can seem a bit muddled at times. But it is a story that begs to be told and it features wonderful characters that we already know and are getting to learn more about. Aside from a few intense battle scenes, there is nothing in this film a family with mature 6 or 7 year olds, cannot enjoy together. Read More »Review: Disney’s Maleficent – Angelina Jolie Stars as Betrayed Fairy

Million Dollar Arm, a Disney Sports Film That Delivers Exactly What You’d Expect

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John Hamm stars in “Million Dollar Arm,” the latest Disney feel-good sports genre movie. It delivers everything that you would expect from such a film and a few extras. It is based on a true story, which always adds a little extra in the inspirational column.

Hamm, plays JB Bernstein, a sports agent prone to rushing around Los Angeles in his Porsche. You meet him at a cross-roads in his career. He’s trying to save his agency, but can’t get an important deal to close. So he decides to come up with an out of the box idea — find undiscovered talent on the Cricket fields of India.

That’s where the million dollars come in. JB will organize a contest for Cricket Bowlers with the winner earning a chance at $1 Million and an MLB contract. The movie then jumps to India where we are served some fun jokes with a side of travel montage. Eventually the winners are spotted and the whole kaboodle moves to America.

Once in America, the relationships of the main characters become more involved and twist around in slightly unexpected ways, but not too unexpected. Read More »Million Dollar Arm, a Disney Sports Film That Delivers Exactly What You’d Expect

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Shows the Superhero In Fine Form

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I’ll admit, I’m a big fan of Marvel. I’ll also admit that “Captain America: The First Avenger” isn’t one of my favorite Marvel movies.

With the release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” however, Marvel not only has another hit on their hands, but firmly entrenches this Avenger as a major force to be reckoned with in the Marvel Universe.

Where the first movie introduced Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his superhero alter ego’s origins, this movie takes place in a post-Avengers world. One which Rogers is not only trying to catch up with, but one in which he’s trying to find his place in.

As the movie opens, Captain America is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but he’s not totally comfortable with all the grey areas the organization likes to operate in. He has an uneasy working relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and fellow agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), also known as Black Widow, and he’s highly suspicious of a new agency project that will neutralize potential threats before they happen.Read More »Captain America: The Winter Soldier Shows the Superhero In Fine Form