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Review: “Big Hero 6”

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Reviews for Family Movie Night | 0 comments

CREDITS: Animated action comedy. Voices of: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Daniel Henney. Disney Studios. Directed by Don Hall, Chris Williams. 11/7/14 FILM SYNOPSIS: A special bond develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax and prodigy Hiro Hamada, as they team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. PREVIEW REVIEW: Loosely based on a Marvel superhero comic book, this action-packed adventure is filled with a great use of animation and visuals, a spooky kabuki mask-wearing villain, and several tender moments that give the story poignancy and heart. As with any superhero actioneer, the violence quotient borders the acceptability line if you are bringing little ones. While Baymax is a big loveable big-brother robot, be warned that certain elements of the film may frighten those who have yet to see a comic book brought to life....

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Review: “The Good Lie”

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Reviews for Family Movie Night | 0 comments

CREDITS: Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Sarah Baker. Warner Bros. Drama. Written by Margaret Nagle. Directed by Philippe Falardeau. 10/3/14 110 min. FILM SYNOPSIS: After their village is attacked and slaughtered by terrorists, a Sudanese refugee and his brothers and sister are allowed to enter the United States. They’ve come from a small plains village with absolutely no modern conveniences we take for granted in America. So, imagine the culture shock they must endure as they attempt to adjust to their new home. REVIEW: As a critic, I’ve had some interesting, frustrating and even spiritually rewarding moments while attending movie screenings. One that touched me the most happened at a recent viewing of The Good Lie (PG-13, opening 10/3/14). During the opening scenes, a village in the Sudan is attacked by terrorists, with defenseless adults and children being gunned down. This sequence had...

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Review: “The Giver”

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Reviews for Family Movie Night | 0 comments

CREDITS: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift. Walden Media. Sci-Fi drama. Directed by Phillip Noyce 8/15/14 FILM SYNOPSIS: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world. It’s known as a dystopic society wherein good intentions have led the way to a bland but pleasing conformity. This is the rub. In the words of Derek Flint in Our Man Flint, “It’s your idea of perfection, not mine.” REVIEW: I suppose, as with any great art, this handsomely produced movie will say different things to different people. For some it may contain an indictment against anything, including religion, that demands from us uniformity. But is it an allegory for existential reasoning, or can spiritual conceptions...

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Review: “Get On Up”

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Reviews for Family Movie Night | 0 comments

CREDITS: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter and Jill Scott. Universal. Musical/drama. Written by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth. Directed by Tate Taylor. 8/1/14 FILM SYNOPSIS: In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42’s Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Get on Up. Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film gives a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. REVIEW: First off, this is how to make a musical biography. Clint Eastwood should have seen this one before he attempted the life of Frankie Valli. But then again, and meaning...

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Review: “Planes: Fire & Rescue”

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Reviews for Family Movie Night | 0 comments

Teens, got younger siblings? This may not be your cup of tea, but what about your younger brothers and sisters?  I can still remember my older brother taking me to movies when I was a kid. It’s a good thing to do. CREDITS: Disney animated action/comedy, with the voices of Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Curtis Armstrong, Al Holbrook, Wes Studi, Brad Garrett. 7/18/14 FILM SYNOPSIS: When Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins forces with fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, the Smokejumpers, to battle a massive wildfire. REVIEW: First joke in the film: the fuel truck says to the other trucks, “I’ve got gas.” That worried me. Was the humor going to be crude as well as sophomoric? Then there was the concept: a film about inanimate objects given life...

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Review: “Million Dollar Arm”

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Reviews for Family Movie Night | 0 comments

CREDITS: Jon Hamm, Alan Arkin, Lake Bell, Bill Paxton. Disney. Sports drama. Written by Thomas McCarthy. Directed by Craig Gillespie. 120 min. FILM SYNOPSIS: Jon Hamm stars in this true story about a self-consumed sports agent traveling to India to find major league pitchers. Though this will radically change the lives of the contestants, in the process he is the one who experiences the radical transformation and learning to invest into others. REVIEW: It’s a sports drama, so we’ve got those clichés. It’s a Disney heart-tugger, so we’ve got those clichés. And the life lessons already taught by Disney’s Miracle and Invincible, as well as every other sports drama since Bad News Bears, will be retaught here. Therefore, one should expect the humor and the pathos to be interrupted by predictable dialogue and simple life lessons. If you are of a generation that’s never seen Miracle or Bad News...

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