REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon 2 [2014]

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“What your searching for is in here” With ten children’s books already published—and two more planned—Cressida Cowell has given Dreamworks animation a ton of material to adapt whether adhered to religiously or not. Their success on How to Train Your Dragon caught many off guard while earning a place in the hearts of children and […]

REVIEW: Maleficent [2014]

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“Goodbye, Beastie” Let’s be honest, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a bit of a bore. I remember my sister often wanting to watch when we were kids and me having none of it until the end’s fire and brimstone and menacing dragon spawned from the tale’s creepy, wide-smiling villain. Did I understand the fairy’s reason for […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #13: The Sound of Music [1965]

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“They were strawberries! It’s been so cold lately they turned blue!” My enjoyment of Oscar-winning musical The Sound of Music can best be described as the product of subjective expectation. I finally saw it around the age of twelve or thirteen after hearing of its greatness for years only to be left staring at the […]

REVIEW: Mr. Peabody & Sherman [2014]

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“But that’s not fair! All my friends are fighting the Trojan War!” It’s been a decade in the making but director Rob Minkoff has finally brought Mr. Peabody and Sherman to theaters. He tried with Sony in 2003, got the ball rolling again with Dreamworks in 2006, and saw the latter studio’s purchase of the […]

REVIEW: Almost Home [2014]

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“Next!” I’m not really sure what Dreamworks is doing, but the existence of Almost Home rubs me the wrong way. A four-minute short shown before Mr. Peabody and Sherman—replacing the Gary Trousdale helmed Rocky and Bullwinkle piece that was inexplicably removed—I thought it was mildly humorous in a charmingly prolonged gag sort of way. But […]

REVIEW: Muppets Most Wanted [2014]

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“It’s not easy being … mean” Is it a coincidence the Muppet renaissance follows the same trajectory as its subjects’ original cinematic saga? 2011′s The Muppets was enjoyable if not a tad overrated due to its story mirroring many of the beats that made 1979′s The Muppet Movie a classic. Revamping its road movie trope […]

REVIEW: Party Central [2014]

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“Operation Party Central is a go” Turning to frat house humor for Monsters University was to me the largest misstep in Pixar Animation’s history. It took one of the studio’s most original worlds and made it into a gag to be blindly consumed by fans of Monsters Inc.‘s heart only to scratch their heads wondering […]

REVIEW: The Croods [2013]

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“Never not be afraid” One credit has fascinated me since The Croods opened in theaters: story by John Cleese. That John Cleese? Surprisingly, yes. It’s a somewhat convoluted journey from his failed adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Twits with Kirk DeMicco catching the eye of Dreamworks and earning them the pick of the litter as […]

REVIEW: The LEGO Movie [2014]

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“All this is true because it rhymes” I am a child of the 80s. Ask me about Lego Star Wars or Lego Harry Potter and my response will be a quizzical look devoid of comprehension. I was a builder with a giant card table set up in my basement full of city locales and blank […]

REVIEW: Helium [2013]

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“They say I’m going to Heaven” What do you tell a young child dying of an inoperable disease? Do you fill his/her head with religious concepts of heaven and hell, explaining how innocence and youth guarantees a place in the former’s angelic clouds? For a kid like Alfred (Pelle Falk Krusbæk) that’s simply not enough. […]

REVIEW: Room on the Broom [2013]

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“And WHOOSH …” Just like with The Gruffalo back in 2011, Max Lang has found his second adaption (this time co-directed by Jan Lachauer) of UK children’s author Julia Donaldson‘s work garnering an Oscar nomination as well. It’s 2002′s book Room on the Broom, a cute tale about making new friends and selflessly banding together […]