Posts from the ‘Animation’ Category

REVIEWS: Tangled, Burlesque and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

written by Peter Ricci – FlixCritic

We decided you don’t care for a long-winded review, these days. you want to know if its good and should you spend your money. Well we have three movies for you to checkout for the Holiday season. yes they are for the family and they’re fun to see.

A

  • Release Date: November 24th, 2010 (wide)
  • Director: Nathan Greno and Byron Howard
  • Stars: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Brad Garrett, Jeffrey Tambor, M.C. Gainey, Paul F. Tompkins, Ron Perlman, Richard Kiel
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
  • Genre: Action/Adventure, Family, Musical, Animation and Adaptation
  • MPAA Rating:PG for brief mild violence.
  • Year: 2010

Tangled – It’s spectacular and one of Disney Animation’s best films in a long while. Last year Disney hit their mark again going back to their old format with The Princess and the Frog in which we love.

However, Tangled has raises the bar as Mandy Moore is splendid as Rapunzel, the girl with the magical golden hair. It’s a combination of Beauty and the Beast and Hercules. it’s a comical, magical ride that the family will love.

C-

  • Release Date: November 24th, 2010 (wide)
  • Director: Steven Antin
  • Stars: Cher Christina AguileraEric DaneCam GigandetJulianne Hough
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing
  • Genre: Drama and Musical/Performing Arts
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including several suggestive dance routines, partial nudity, language and some thematic material.
  • Year: 2010

Burlesque – It’s great to see Cher back on the big screen, but personally, I wanted more Cher. Instead I got tons of Christina. that’s was fine, except the movie lacks two key elements. First it needed more burlesque, more rivalry and it was missing the romance of Flash Dance, you know the yearning to want a dream so bad you’ll do anything. Overall the movie is entertaining, but only worth a matinée’. If i had paid full price I would have been upset and thank God it was NOT in 3-D, could you imagine Christina Aguilera gyrating at you in 3-D! No-no-no- not a good look!

B+

  • Release Date: November 19th, 2010 (wide)
  • Director: David Yates
  • Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, Bill Nighy, Bonnie Wright, Jason Isaacs, John Hurt
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Adaptation and Sequel
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
  • Year: 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the first of a 2 part last chapter. The film is a bit darker than the earlier ones, but it is making its way to the final climax between good and evil. I enjoyed this film as it went back to the original three, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. You finally get to see the three friends together again, unfortunately it’s during the darkest hours of Hogwarts. The film challenges the three hero-witches on their quest to rid the evil and make it save once again for all pure and half-bloods. It is the end of a decade of films that many of our children have grown to love as well as parents.  Deathly Hallows doesn’t disappoint us one bit. It worth the buck, but once again NOT worth 3-D. There is no visual effect that make this film 3-d except for depth – yawn!

Anyways, this film is wonderful and we are looking forward to the second part of the final film. The battle of all battles, who will win? Will light prevail or darkness take over?

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REVIEW: Megamind

B-

Written by Peter Ricci – FlixCritic

  • Release Date: November 5th, 2010 (wide)
  • Director: Tom McGrath
  • Stars: Will Farrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt
  • Studio: DreamWorks Animation
  • Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy and Animation
  • MPAA Rating: PG for action and some language
  • Year: 2010

Megamind dominated over the weekend, especially in the box office numbers, but was it because of the movies popularity or the fact that it costs $4.00+ per ticket at the theater for 3D? Yes, Megamind was another animated film in 3D and let me be the first to say it’s not worth the 3D! There is no point for these films to keep coming out in this format.

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How to Train Your Dragon

Review by Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

From the riff, “How to Train Your Dragon,” may look like another fun-filled 3-D action kiddy film, but wait, this one soars above the rest. The story is filled with heart, thrills and enough adult humor to keep your grand daddy awake at a Saturday morning matinée. It’s complete fun for all the family. I was truly amazed with this action packed film, that the first go around of preview didn’t due it justice. Dragon is filled with swift action, a smart script, stunning animation and a group of voices that really come together to make this one heck of a blockbuster on the IMAX 3-D screens.

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Alice In Wonderland

Review by Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

“Alice in Wonderland” is one of my favorite childhood films and to me; Tim Burton’s vision is extraordinary and immaculately on point. The film has some interesting adjustments, but you have to remember this is Alice (Mia Wasikowska) years latter. It’s her second time back down the rabbit hole and back to wonderland, except after years of her father and doctor telling her they were delusions; Alice doesn’t believe she’s truly back in wonderland.

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Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Well there is not much to say about these three little guys except don’t expect much from this film and you’ll completely enjoy it. It for the kiddies, so mom and dad’s be ready to take your little ones to the theater, get a bucket of popcorn and sit back for the next eighty eight minutes of kiddies fun.  “Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel” is exactly what you expect – not much and OMG this cost me how much to see it? Even Jason Lee the lead to the movie and box office draw took an old approach like back in the day when Anthony Edwards/”Revenge of the Nerds II” did the – I’ll be in the movie, but only in a few scenes and on the phone, I have better movies to do. The movie starts at the top when Dave (Jason Lee) gets injured so his participation in the film is limited from that point on, making the movie straight up for the kids. Talk about an easy check for Jason.

Therefore, Survivors of the first “Alvin” may not be as enlightened by this slapstick, flatulent joke fueled film. It’s very unimaginative for the adults and how many times does one think testicle bashing is funny, this is not America’s Funniest Home Movies. Other non-surprising or shall we say lack-luster scenes of the film is the pop culture category where the chipmunks reference  “Silence of the Lambs” and “Taxi Driver.” We just have to ask why was this film made.

But for entertainment’s mature audiences, this movie has four things going for it: It’s cute at times, the song selection is decent, David Cross has two or three funny scenes, and it’s only 88 minutes long. Maybe you could sit home instead and watch Al Pacino’s Tragic & predictable thriller “88 Minutes” instead. It’s like needles in your eye and hey you didn’t have to leave home to feel the pain.

As the year comes to an end so does the choice for worst film of the year. At this point Did You Hear About The Morgan’s?,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel” and “ “All About Steve” are neck and neck who will win. We are still working it out.

Recommendation: It;s family enjoyment fro the kids – if you like slap-stick comedy then Alvin and the gang is a cute additive to your holiday season: D+

See what the critics are saying around the Nation:                   Overall Rating: C-

Boston Globe – Ty Burr -“Little kids will love it. You’ll need a hazmat suit.” more…

New York Times – Neil Genzlinger – “The earlier Alvin movie made more than $217 million just in the United States. It’s hard to imagine this somewhat confused sequel doing as well.” more…

USA Today – Claudia Puig – “For anyone over age 8, the arrival of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel may not be the most welcome news.” more…

The Princess and The Frog

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

Disney has found themselves once again with the “The Princess and the Frog,” it’s old-school animation and all of its trappings – the tiaras, the enchantment, the wishing on stars – making “The Princess and the Frog” a gently bewitching comeback to Disney how we love it. After all the controversy and the drama behind the film before it hit the big screen was a story in it self, but the movie is a sure classic and will fall into Disney’s princess genre of animation. It was great to see Disney go back to its original format in the tradition of “The Little Mermaid,” Beauty & the Beast,” “Cinderella” and the list goes on. I remember when Disney announced they were no longer going to make animated musicals and “Atlantis” would be the launch of a new era for Disney Animation. That sounded like a plan, but if you noticed Disney movie’s started to fall in their viewers and thank God to Pixar or Disney would be forgotten. Yes, the two have merged, but only after a smart move on Disney’s part to keep up with DreamWorks, Warner & Paramount in the animation field. Why, Because Disney’s great artists did a change-up and left starting up new divisions with other studios, hence the competition.

“The Prince and The Frog,” is set in the Jazz Age New Orleans, capturing the magnificent colors and splendor of the golden era of yester-year. Jazz was thriving and America was being born. It takes place shortly after slavery was abolished. The film is incredible. It’s great to watch animation at its best, but without the effect of 3-D as it does hurt the eyes in some cases. The 3-D era is NOT always the answer and The Princess and The Frog, reminds you how great Disney can be without 3-D. It was a pleasure, after a season of bland computer-generated tales, to be swept up in the visual magic of The Princess and the Frog, the two-dimensional, handsomely hand-drawn feature that is classic, whimsical Disney.

It’s Disney’s first major African-American female lead and its most extensive black cast. It also is the first hand-drawn animated feature from the studio since 2004’s Home on the Range. Princess is akin to The Little Mermaid in its blending of gorgeous backdrops, catchy musical numbers and a plucky heroine. It was a well needed change after horrible films like Chicken Little hit the screen, talk about disappointment to a classic story. If only it were done the right way as Walt’s vision was anticipated, to put a smile, capture your heart and escape to a world where dreams do come true, isn’t that the meaning of Disney’s true intent. Over the years I feel Disney has lost its true meaning and it’s sad to say as I am an avid fan of Disney since childhood. I’m just happy Disney has found their mojo. Hopefully “The Princess and The Frog” will capture an Oscar nomination as the film is truly worthy of one, especially Ne-Yo’s amazing song for the film. This is one soundtrack that is a wonderful surprise and is duly noted to the genius composer behind the magic, Randy Newman and Jim Cummings, and Anika Noni Rose.

It’s the first animated movie about an African-American princess named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose). She’s not your typical Princess sitting around waiting for some pretty fella in tights to whisk her away on horseback. It’s about a girl who’s focused on a dream, a jazz-era waitress aka Tiana in New Orleans who scrapes together a down payment with a plan to open a classy restaurant, her fathers dream.  Her mother, a seamstress, Eudora (Oprah Winfrey) objects, thinking she ought to get out there and “meet (her) Prince Charming,” but Tiana is on a mission, to work hard and accomplish her goals, a man is not in the picture.

In comes the Prince Naveen of Maldonia (Bruno Campos), a jaunty and confident party-boy who’s in town shopping for a wealthy bride but the naive, trusting Prince gets sidetracked when an evil witch doctor (Keith David) turns Naveen into a frog with some Voodoo magic. The stories twist happens when Tiana wishes upon a star and hence a frog awaits her kiss. Prince Naveen, mistaking Tiana for a princess, he convinces her to give him a smooch and she turns her into a frog. Our leads then spend the bulk of the film in amphibious form, searching for blind voodoo queen Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) in the darkest part of the Everglades in hopes they might switch back to human form.

The Princess and The Frog is magically drawn to live and encapsulated by the fine direction of Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker of “Hercules” and “Aladdin.” The Princess Frog is Disney’s newest classic that has been long in the making. Hopefully Disney will stay back on track and start putting out quality animated films instead of these horrific computer generated let downs over the last five years. Disney needs more Princess and Prince stories for a new generation of magic.  We miss the stories like Lady and The Tramp, Aladdin and many more, so Disney please give us classics from now on not trash. Computers and digital are not always the answer, save that for the amusement parks.

FYI: The Princess and The Frog would be a great ride in Fantasyland part of Disneyland, you know right next to the “Autopia Speedway.”  It could be a water-kid ride in the river of New Orleans, the swamps with dips and fall for family goers. It can be an inside and outside ride for a magical improvement to an area of the park that needs a facelift. Email us I already have the ride planned out. Imaginering has always been one of my desires to improve Disney and all the parks.

  • Release Date: November 25th, 2009 (limited); December 11 (wide)
  • Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
  • Producer: John Lasseter, Aghi Koh, Peter Del Vecho
  • Stars: Keith Anthony, Kwesi Boakye, Roger Aaron Brown, June Christopher, David Cowgill
  • Genres: Kids/Family, Musical/Performing Arts, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Animation
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studios: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“Never Knew I Needed” by Ne-Yo from The Princess & the Frog soundtrack album which features music from Randy Newman, Jim Cummings, and Anika Noni Rose:

See what the critics are saying around the Nation:                   Overall Rating: B+

Boston Globe – Wesley Morris – “In the year of America’s first black president, it makes sense that Disney would introduce its first black princess. On the surface, this feels revolutionary.” more…

Chicago Tribune – Geoff Berkshire – “Disney’s return to the fairy tale musical is fun, but not quite magical.” more…

E! Online – Dezhda Gaubert – “…an instant classic.” more…

San Francisco Chronicle – Amy Biancolli – “…it’s nice to know that the studio behind Cinderella can still cast a spell in two dimensions.” more…

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Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Review – Peter Ricci – Flix|Critic

If you are looking for a traditional classic tale, which reflects the original Charles Dickens’s Novel, then this is a family must see. I thought the film was average, nothing I haven’t seen before. Just this time it’s in IMAX 3-D and it all animated, oh wait, they’ve done an animated version, ok then it’s Jim Carey playing all the parts, yeah that’s new.  If you saw it as a child, then you already saw this version, the only difference is it’s just as slow, so it’s like the original.

Anyways,  Jim Carrey (Scrooge) shinned as always, in each character. The film is electrifying visually, but a little long-winded and slightly darker than I personally expected. Disney and director Robert Zemeckis pushes the envelope on the 3-D experience for sure.

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