Beauty And The Beast (2017)

Disney has done it with its big screen, live action adaptation of the animated musical Beauty and the Beast. The opening scene’s of Belle’s “provincial” town might as well be take straight from the cartoon classic. They are done well however and live-film aspects are utilized fully. I’m sure many were skeptical of what the …

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Disney has done it with its big screen, live action adaptation of the animated musical Beauty and the Beast. The opening scene’s of Belle’s “provincial” town might as well be take straight from the cartoon classic. They are done well however and live-film aspects are utilized fully. I’m sure many were skeptical of what the film might do but it’s this author’s opinion that it entertains more than the animated classic.

Beauty and the Beast
“An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.” -IMDB

Cast

Emma Watson Belle
Dan Stevens Beast
Luke Evans Gaston
Josh Gad LeFou

Directed by

Bill Condon

Written by

Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos

Other Info

Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
PG
Fri 17 Mar 2017 UTC
129min
IMDB Rating: 7.9

Bill Condon directed it will all the accolades of directing 2 Twilight films and experimental ones like Kinsey. He’s been around the block and it shows. Emma Watson does an excellent job as Belle. She has the chops to deliver and I found her to be “Belle” very shortly into the film. Like everyone, i was waiting for her to sing and when she did, it wasn’t small or nasal, she commanded the songs with a voice like an instrument.

The music remixes most the earlier songs. There are some added that have already brcom instant classics. One way Disney got this film right was by not making it too musical and conversely not too “drama film.” I think they achieved that balance well.

Dan Stevens was the best casting choice in the film. He emoted the beast in and out of costume. He probably had the most lines and screen time so it was integral to the success that he be liked and “bught.” I bought it! Every minute of him. The CGI wasn’t perfect but the acting and voicing was so good, I don’t feel the need to criticize. The wolf fight along with the Gaston jump fight at the end are some of the best action scenes in all Disney movies.

There are other amazing actors in this who do not fail to satisfy: Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson. The acting is first rate and part of what makes this an outstanding film experience. The animated clock and candlestick figures were among my favorite. They are very relatable, just as much if not more so than the prior animated ones.

The story is probably known to all by now. A sorceress’ spell keeps a Prince in the beasts’ body until true love sets him free. This is kind of like the life story of anyone who has sought love. The process of patience and understanding is chronicled much more clearly in this live action film than in the cartoon. We live among the characters and there are scenes where there was not a dry eye in the house. It’s not just a chick-flick either, there are wolf attacks and beast fights, and all the other sort of exciting stuff you’d expect from a legendary tale such as this. Most know that true love wins.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Listen, we all know the story here. It can easily appear that Disney is simply cashing in, once again, on a classic anmated musical to make a sure thing. That isn’t true though because we have learned through time that remakes don’t always succeed. This film is a success in its own rite. Emma Watson delivers as Belle and Dan Stevens is a knockout power punch as the Beast. Then there are 6the smaller successes in the music and the smaller roles. There is a reason this film keeps packing theaters, people want what it gives and they’re ready to pay at the box office. Hollywood should take note for future remakes of such classic animated films.

5/5

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Wrap me in a Blanket With Jessica Chastain

Since the writing prompt today is blanket I thought I’d try something outlandish and look up photos of a hot actress I like in a blanket. This one popped up and … well something else did too.

I’m a cuddle by the fire guy. lamest to me symbolize that nestled in feeling. My wife has an electric blanket she loves in the winter moths. I like to wrap my feet up in the comforter blanket at night. Blankets represent calm, which is what I am all aout. I should say I’m not a master of calm yet but I’ve got miles to go before I sleep.

Am I crazy or is Jessica one smoking hot number in this photo? This post was brought to you by the word blanket and a hell of a lot of testosterone.

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Source: Blanket

The Boss Baby (2017)

We here in Los Angeles get it very young that some stuff hits and you see it on McDonald’s cups and happy meals and other stuff just doesn’t. It usually doesn’t stand to reason whether it’s amazing or not. I don’t quite understand why but The Boss Baby just aint hittin’ yet. That’s a shame …

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We here in Los Angeles get it very young that some stuff hits and you see it on McDonald’s cups and happy meals and other stuff just doesn’t. It usually doesn’t stand to reason whether it’s amazing or not. I don’t quite understand why but The Boss Baby just aint hittin’ yet. That’s a shame because I found it quite hilarious and very well made.

The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

“A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.” -IMDB

Cast

Alec Baldwin Boss Baby (voice)
Steve Buscemi Francis Francis (voice)
Jimmy Kimmel Dad (voice)
Lisa Kudrow Mom (voice)

Directed by

Tom McGrath

Written by

Michael McCullers, Marla Frazee

Other Info

Animation, Comedy, Family
PG
Fri 31 Mar 2017 UTC
97min
IMDB Rating: 6.3

Director is most popular as Skipper of Madagascar movies & the TV show, Penguins Of Madagascar & was a voice actor for Shrek 3 as Gary, Monsters vs Aliens as Wilson, Megamind as Lord Scott, & a bit part in Puss In Boots as a bar thief as well as being a director, layout & storyboard artist for numerous other animated movies. You can’t say he doesn’t know the niche! I’ve read reviews by big name critics that are saying this movie is terrible. Hmmm. Did they see the same movie? There are a host of great voices in this. I found Alec Baldwin most hilarious due to the fact that he is Trump on SNL.

The story is that babies are brought to us in one of two ways (neither is the scientific way). This is probably intended to help parents with that age old question kids ask: “Where DO babies come from.” At any rate, The Boss Baby has talent for the deal so he spends time in a family in lieu of an actual baby who comes later. That’s the best non-spoiler summary I can give! The story is not really important here, it’s the gags and the imagery. This film is highly colorful and engaging to watch.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I think this movie is funny and a cute way to spend the afternoon for an animation lover and/or child or niece/nephew. Sure, it won’t be like an epic film experience but you’ll laugh like I did. It has many zany and ridiculous scenes. My favorite was when the big baby would run and his diaper sagged. LOL. The sounds he makes are so funny. That should be a screensaver. I would download it! It isn’t an amazing story but it beats Life of Pets’ plot hands down. Maybe not as good as Zootopia but hey, it’s great animation. Do you need an epic story? Someone tell McDonald’s they missed their window with this one.

4/5

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Spike

I like the spike in horror movies that the monster or villain usually falls on in the final scene. The Fun House by Tobe Hooper is one example. It’s final. Some wounds and shots you know the character might get out of and continue their rampage. Not so the spike. When they fall on the spike, they are stuck and usually dead.

Spikes can’t kill zombies but they immobilize them. When one is spiked, one is jacked up for sure. You could could probably hold a blogathon for moview reviews based on the word spike there are so many. It seems to kill so well, it would probably be a wise weapon of choice in an apocalypse.

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Source: Spike

Frankenweenie (2012)

5/5 A boy’s love for his dog becomes a circular journey of learning to let go.

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Frankenweenie
“Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.” -IMDB

Cast

Winona Ryder Elsa Van Helsing (voice)
Catherine O’Hara Mrs. Frankenstein/Weird Girl/Gym Teacher (voice)
Martin Short Mr. Frankenstein/Mr. Burgemeister/Nassor (voice)
Martin Landau Mr. Rzykruski (voice)

Directed by

Tim Burton

Written by

Leonard Ripps, Tim Burton

Other Info

Animation, Comedy, Family, Horror, Sci-Fi
PG
Fri 05 Oct 2012 UTC
87min
IMDB Rating: 7.0

You’d think death and grieving were topics best left for grown up movies like Ordinary People et. al., but these topics work surprisingly well in Tim Burton’s animated movie Frankenweenie. It is a highly enjoyable ride for families to the “other side” and back again. As Victor’s science teacher tells him, science experiments must have “heart” as well and brain. A boy’s love for his dog becomes a circular journey of learning to let go. Where does the merry-go-round end? I wont tell you that here but know it is a wildly fun, inspiring ride for viewers of all ages.

As one would expect in a Disney/Burton film, there is an all star cast of voices. Catherine O’Hara, known for her role as the mom in Home Alone plays three characters: Mrs. Frankenstien, Weird Girl, and Gym Teacher. Her voice was the most striking at first for me. When I first heard her doing a character I thought, “Wait a minute I KNOW that voice!” Then you start thinking about where it’s from. Martin Short also does a noteworthy job at the voices of Mr. Frankenstein, Mr. Burgemeister, and Nassor. Incidentally, Mr. Burgemeister is an homage to the Rankin Bass character from Santa Claus in Comin’ to Town and is a delight to watch. He is included likely because this movie was made in “stop action” format with “puppets” as they are called in the credits the same way Santa Claus is Coming to Town was. It is also the same format Burton utilized for The Nightmare Before Christmas. In a time when digital computers seem to be the format for all animation, it is exciting to see this style used to tell a story effectively on screen. There are many other household names in the movie playing a lot of entertaining characters.

Victor is a grade school boy who has a great dog named Sparky. We see them at play and get to know Sparky’s extra-large personality and warmth as a dog in the early part of the movie. This is shown well through his relationship with Victor but also through his relationship “through the fence” with a poodle and other kids. Sparky is clearly an exceptional and loving dog. I wanted to take him home myself.

As you probably have already gleaned from the trailers, Sparky dies and Victor just won’t “let him go” so-to-speak. This is where Victor tries bringing Sparky back to life in his attic just like the Frankenstein movies. By the way, Victor’s last name is also Frankenstein in Frankenweenie. The nods are not subtle in this movie but that’s ok because everything works to make a wonderful and fun family film about death and loss. It also becomes a wild ride reminiscent of Godzilla and Gremlins. Without spoiling all the fun in between, we learn that bringing things back from the dead can have monstrous consequences. There is a somewhat puzzling (for me) ending but ultimately it all works out to be one of the best family films (for all ages) I have seen an a long time. I think I can safely call it an instant classic.

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