2016 Movie Trolls Reviews

From the creators of Shrek comes DreamWorks Animations Trolls, a bright, amusing and irreverent comedy about the search for happiness, and just how far some will go to get it.

This hilarious film transports audiences to a brilliant, wondrous world populated by the exceedingly positive Trolls, who have a continuous dance inside their step as well as a song on their lips, and the comically cynical Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their own guts.

After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious curmudgeonly Branch (Timberlake) set off on a journey to rescue her pals. Together, this mismatched duo embarks on a rescue mission full of adventure and mishaps striving to stand each other long enough to get the job done.

Utilizing music to further the movie’s narrative, the Trolls soundtrack is made by Justin Timberlake and features five original songs including songs by Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande, Anna Kendrick and Gwen Stefani, in addition to a number of classic hits from the 60s through the 80s.

Following the success of the first movie, Universal DreamWorks Animation has announced its plans for a sequel to Trolls and set a release date of April 10, 2020.
Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake reprise their roles as the eternal optimist Poppy along with the curmudgeon Branch in the new musical comedy-adventure from the creators of Shrek.

Trolls went on to make $339 million global. Can’t Stop the Feeling acquired an Oscar nomination for best song, which Justin Timberlake performed the opening number at this year’s Oscars.

Universal Pictures will take over as provider following its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation Studios last year.

The very first picture follows Poppy, the most joyful Troll ever created, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to save her friends after the Bergens infringe Troll Village.

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Plot

The Trolls were small and colorful creatures who resided in a happy tree in a happy forest. They were positive creatures that loved to sing, dancing, and hug. Yet, they may be detected by Bergens, large (relatively human-sized considering how tiny the trolls really are) and blue creatures that do not know what happiness feels like at all. They pretty much don’t understand how to do anything the trolls do. They discover they are able to feel happy if they eat Trolls.

The Bergens encircled the Troll’s tree (hereafter referred to as the ‘Troll Tree’) with a cage and begin to hold an annual festival referred to as “Trollstice,” where each and every Bergen gets its feelings of real well-being by eating a Troll. Nonetheless, King Peppy (Jeffery Tambor) leads the Trolls to escape from the Bergen Town during which the Bergen prince Gristle (Christopher MintzPlasse) tastes his very first Troll, but maintains that the troll is rotten. After a quick investigation, the Bergens recognize the trolls have escaped and left fake wooden replicas (the very same fake trolls the trolls are based on), and also the head cook Chef (Christine Baranski) is blamed for the episode (most likely because of her failure at locating the trolls when they can no longer be found).

Gristle’s Daddy King Gristle Sr. banishes Chef from Bergen Town. That night, Gristle asks his father if there is anything else to make him happy since he never got to eat a troll. When the question is asked, the king anticlimactically responds, “Nothing. Completely nothing.”

Twenty years later, King Peppy’s daughter, Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), and her buddies the snack pack throw a big party to celebrate the Trolls’ escape from the Bergens, despite the worries and warnings from a strict, disgruntled, grey-skinned and black-haired Troll survivalist named Branch (Justin Timberlake) that the party will direct the Bergens right to them. Poppy doesn’t believe him since no one in the village has seen a Bergen in 20 years. She tries to invite Branch the party with a pop up glittery invitation letter she made for him, but all he does is throw it on the ground and stomp on it, clearing meaning he is not setting foot anywhere near Poppy’s celebration.

Branch also escapes a group hug when a watch on Poppy’s wrist (A watch that each troll except Branch wears) goes ding and signifies “hug time” (Trolls hug every hour on the hour, and they wear this watch as a reminder alarm). Before he leaves, Branch sarcastically tells Poppy that when a Bergen does find them one day and also the safety of every troll is on her head, he trusts her reply is singing, dancing, and hugging. Branch’s fears are realized when the banished Chef sees the fireworks from the bash and tracks them back to the hamlet. Once there, she begins to catch quite a few trolls including DJ Suki (Gwen Stefani), Biggie (James Corden), Guy Diamond (KunalNayyar), Cooper (Ron Funches), Satin (AinoJawo), Chenille (Caroline Hjelt), Smidge (Walt Dohrn), Creek (Russell Brand) and Fuzzbert.

Poppy is among the rest of the other Trolls who manage to hide from Chef but detects that none of the other Trolls dare to venture to Bergen Town to rescue their friends. Poppy asks help from Branch, which he refuses. Poppy attempts to go on an adventure to save them by herself but ends up she get caught in spider webs. To make matters worse, several spiders like creatures emerge from the exact same webs and are about to eat her, but Branch intervenes just in time, using his hair to scare them away before renovating Poppy using defibrillator-like bugs. Branch tells Poppy he can’t wait to see the look on her face when she realizes the world isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows, as bad things happen too. When the two set up camp for the night, Poppy attempts to get Branch to at least grin by singing a tune about being in the dark while playing her ukulele.

Poppy thought she had gotten through to him when he requests to play it himself until he pitches it into the fireplace and goes right back to sleep. The next morning, Poppy and Branch make it to the old escape tunnels and meet Cloud Guy, a mischievous character whom Branch immediately distrusts. Cloud Guys warn them that one of the tunnels lead to Bergen Town and the Troll Tree, as well as the others lead to certain death.

After arriving at the citadel, Branch and Poppy locate their buddies and watch as Creek, is eaten by an adult Gristle (who is now King), when Chef puts him in a taco. Poppy is heartbroken but keeps trust he remains alive. Poppy and Branch find that their friends are guarded by a cautious and kind hearted Bergen and scullery maid named Bridget, who’s in love with Gristle. Poppy and Branch free their buddies as well as strike a deal with her: if she helps them save Creek, they will help get her date with Gristle. While setting up for her date, Bridget wonders why Branch isn’t singing along with the other trolls. After Poppy pesters him a lot, he reveals that singing is how his grandmother died. The reason why he’s Poppy’s polar opposite is that his grandmother, Granny Rosiepuff was eaten after a Bergen overheard him because of his singing, and he blames himself for her death for not hearing her warnings. This is also why he is dark and gray instead of the vivid colors of all of the other Trolls. When a troll’s emotions become negative like this, they lose their color and their troll manes turn black.

After, with the Troll’s advice (and hair), Bridget (as Lady Glitter sparkles) gets her date with Gristle at Captain Garfunkel’s roller rink and arcade for pizza where the trolls tell her what to tell the king. While all the other trolls nearly mess up, Branch saves the situation by saying amorous poetic things when the others cannot think of nice things to say about Gristle. Branch is presumably talking about Poppy while feeding lines to Bridget, which explains why he stops to take a look at her when he finishes. Gristle and Bridget have a moment together in the roller rink before Chef Shows up, and also the king tells her that “Lady Glitter sparkles” will be his plus one at the feast. She leaves behind her roller-skate which Gristle picks up and keeps (Cinderella Easter egg).

Music

Justin Timberlake served as an executive producer for the film’s music and released the original song “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” on May 6, 2016. The song reached No. 1 in the official charts of 17 nations, including the United States and Canada. Timberlake along with the movie cast, with guest appearances from Earth, Wind & Fire and Ariana Grande, contributed to the soundtrack. The soundtrack album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Australian Recording Industry Association.

Movie Info

DreamWorks Animation’s TROLLS is an irreverent comedy extravaganza with incredible music! From the master creators of SHREK, TROLLS stars Anna Kendrick as Poppy, the positive leader of the Trolls, and her polar opposite, Branch, played by Justin Timberlake. Collectively, this unlikely pair of Trolls must embark on an experience that takes them way beyond the only world they’ve ever known.

  • Rating: PG (for some mild rude humor)
  • Genre: Animation, Kids & Family
  • Directed By: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell (VI)
  • Written By: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
  • In Theaters: Nov 4, 2016, Wide
  • On Disc/Streaming: Feb 7, 2017
  • Box Office: $153,694,574
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Studio: DreamWorks Animation

50 First Dates Movie Review

Re-teaming Adam Sandler with Drew Barrymore, his co-star from The Wedding Singer, together with Peter Segal, his director on Anger Management, Fifty First Dates finds the funnyman playing veterinarian Henry Roth. More than content with a life of one-night-stands, Henry decides to give up his noncommittal lifestyle when he meets and falls for Lucy (Barrymore). However, when he discovers that Lucy has no short-term memory, Henry finds himself having to win her heart again with every new day. Sean Astin and Rob Schneider also star. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

The Adam Sandler vehicle 50 First Dates is a study in opposites. Where Sandler vehicles are generally lowbrow comedies with half-hearted romantic subplots tossed in to placate female devotees, 50 First Dates is a girly, saccharine romance with scatological gags thrown in to placate Sandler’s essential fan base: 12-year-old boys of all ages and genders. The film is anomalous in other respects, as well: Sandler generally plays losers and rage-choked misfits, but in 50 First Dates, he’s a well-off veterinarian who’s conspicuously successful, particularly with women. Re-teaming with Anger Management director Peter Segal, Sandler stars as a Hawaiian Casanova who takes advantage of his island’s status as a vacation paradise by seducing, then discarding, hordes of attractive, sexually aggressive vacationers. Sandler’s tomcatting days seem to come to a finish, nevertheless, when he falls for fairly local resident Drew Barrymore, the victim of a rare and narratively convenient affliction that obliterates her short-term memory. Reunited for the first time since The Wedding Singer, Sandler and Barrymore make sense as a couple: He’s an endearing man-child with self-negating body language along with a bashful smile, while she’s sunny, bright, charming, and lovable girlish. Barrymore’s radiance even makes it credible that a character like Sandler’s, accustomed to expending minimal effort to achieve casual sex, would suddenly devote maximum effort to a PG 13 relationship where sex is, for the most part, merely a distant possibility. Sandler’s last deviation from his usual template, Punch-Drunk Love, alienated his followers by being self-consciously arty. By contrast, 50 First Dates is likely to alienate them by being dull and sappy, though anyone who finds Sandler dreamy should love it. Sentimental to a fault which definitely can’t be said about many other films that prominently require walrus vomit50 First Dates might have worked better had the filmmakers committed to making a romantic drama, instead of hedging their bets with comprehensive comic support from the likes of Rob Schneider and Sean Astin, who gives a huge hunk of his dignity to play Barrymore’s lisping, muscle-shirt-clad brother. Given 50 First Dates’ subject matter, it might be fitting that Sandler and company have made a picture that most people won’t remember the day after they see it.

See: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE: MOVIE REVIEW

The film is anomalous in other respects, as well: Sandler generally plays losers and rage-choked misfits, but in 50 First Dates, he’s a well-off veterinarian who’s conspicuously successful, particularly with women. Re-teaming with Anger Management director Peter Segal, Sandler stars as a Hawaiian Casanova who takes advantage of his island’s status as a vacation paradise by seducing, then discarding, hordes of attractive, sexually aggressive vacationers. Sandler’s tomcatting days seem to come to a finish, nevertheless, when he falls for fairly local resident Drew Barrymore, the victim of a rare and narratively convenient affliction that obliterates her short-term memory.

Reunited for the first time since The Wedding Singer, Sandler and Barrymore make sense as a couple: He’s an endearing man-child with self-negating body language along with a bashful smile, while she’s sunny, bright, charming, and lovable girlish. Barrymore’s radiance even makes it credible that a character like Sandler’s, accustomed to expending minimal effort to achieve casual sex, would suddenly devote maximum effort to a PG 13 relationship where sex is, for the most part, merely a distant possibility. Sandler’s last deviation from his usual template, Punch-Drunk Love, alienated his followers by being self-consciously arty.

By contrast, 50 First Dates is likely to alienate them by being dull and sappy, though anyone who finds Sandler dreamy should love it. Sentimental to a fault which definitely can’t be said about many other films that prominently require walrus vomit50 First Dates might have worked better had the filmmakers committed to making a romantic drama, instead of hedging their bets with comprehensive comic support from the likes of Rob Schneider and Sean Astin, who gives a huge hunk of his dignity to play Barrymore’s lisping, muscle-shirt-clad brother. Given 50 First Dates’ subject matter, it might be fitting that Sandler and company have made a picture that most people won’t remember the day after they see it.

Here’s what the provider says about their picture:

Marine biologist Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) finds the ideal woman, Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) and falls head over heals for her. But when he sees her the following day, she hasn’t a clue regarding who he is. Lucy suffers from a rare brain disorder that wipes her memory clean every night. Now, with assistance from his friend Ula (Rob Schneider), he has to concoct new and increasingly clever ways to meet her and get her to fall for him every day.

This Valentine opener finds the womanizing Henry (Adam Sandler) trying to win the affection of the amazing Lucy (Drew Barrymore). Henry alludes to a durable relationship with Lucy who can no longer lay down short term memory after suffering a severe head injury. Henry, the Supreme shallow flirt, uncovers a real challenge in sweet Lucy as each of their meetings is forgotten and he has to successfully earn her affection each and every day. He is ever resourceful and brings innovative pickup lines to each encounter, bringing laughs with each one.

The real challenge comes when he genuinely falls in love with her and begins to actually look for a lasting, meaningful relationship. The obvious issue is developing this type of relationship when each day must start over from scratch. Despite his one-night-stand skills which have served him well in meeting travelers to his state of Hawaii, Henry must first win over her family and ultimately make a durable impression on Lucy.

This movie offers a twist on the typical Hollywood romance where couples are usually in bed hardly after a date or two, Henry, mainly because of the newness of every day, is truly unsuccessful in getting Lucy to sleep with him. In reality, as his actual love for her grows his lust for her declines. There is one mainly-clothed bed scene but sex is not automatically entailed even though they do spend the night together. There are many intimate first kisses nonetheless and they do help to demonstrate the sex-right-now group that more isn’t necessarily better. Even Henry looks to get this point which may have seemed impossible from early scenes where several girls are describing their brief steamy romance together with the elusive Henry.

Without question, the movie’s biggest downfall is the perennial vulgar and homosexual opinions that run from start to finish. As Henry and Lucy’s relationship grow these topics do decline, but regrettably they never actually cease.

There are numerous profanities and fraternity-like references to women, body parts, functions, etc. Incredibly, they’re wholly unnecessary to the development of what is an otherwise good romance story. Being highly offensive to Christian viewers and totally unnecessary to the enjoyment of any audience it begs the question of why is that content in there.

Obviously, jests are appreciated along the way, and it is easy to cheer the growing Henry on towards the development of what may be his first real relationship, a relationship developed with the aim to always love and not short-enduring physical attraction. It’d be fantastic for Henry to experience the indescribable delights of a purposeful relationship that God has designed. Although Hollywood gets closer on this one (because of the lack of sex scenes), they work too hard at queer content and mindless vulgarities to really recommend this one.

Positive Elements

The fundamental message of the film that courtship and selfless amorous devotion are more rewarding than fast sexual flings fabulous. It’s very much the same lesson Bill Murrays womanizing Phil Conner learned in Groundhog Day: Sex and love are not the same things, and merely a sacrificial, long-term investment can fill the relational longings of the heart. Henrys tireless attempts to “fulfill” and show his love for Lucy models 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He’s sensitive to her psychological fragility. He struggles to create a video of their time together so that, each morning, she can pop it into the VCR and start the day with some context of their relationship. [Spoiler Warning] In the last scene, they learn that the couple eventually marries and have a child, implying years of longsuffering on Henry’s part. And because Lucy’s affliction is incurable, there’s no reason to believe his situation will get any easier for years to come. Nevertheless, he keeps giving.

Lucy overhears Henry talking about his dream to sail around the globe, and recognizes he’ll never be able to do it saddled with her and her malady. So she breaks up with him in her own act of sacrificial love. Lucy is kind to everyone she meets. She shares a pleasant bond with her father and brother, Doug, who care for her enough to daily put their very own lives on hold to be able to reset the phase for Lucy’s repeat of that day. They pull a newspaper off of a huge collection of leftovers dated the day of her accident.

They paint over her mural so she’ll have a fresh canvas. They endure endless birthday cakes and viewings of The Sixth Sense (Lucy is consistently shocked by its surprise ending). Fortunately, the men learn that confronting Lucy’s difficulties is healthier for everyone than perpetrating a daily ruse or living in ignorance. Dad and Doug also strive to protect Lucy’s emotions at a romantic level. They try to keep the amorous Henry away at first, but later grease the wheels of their relationship once they’re convinced of Henry’s genuine love for her. Lucy volunteers at a facility that helps people with brain trauma.

Outline

Marine biologist Henry Roth finds the right woman, Lucy Whitmore, and falls head over heels for her. But when he sees her the following day, she hasn’t a clue as to who is he due to a rare brain disorder that wipes her memory clean every night. Now, with the aid of his friend Ula, Henry has to concoct new and increasingly clever approaches to meet her and get her to fall for him every day.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

On Nov. 16, 2001, Warner Bros. found J.K. Rowling’s wizarding universe in wide release with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which grossed more than $970 million global. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is a red-blooded adventure movie, dripping with atmosphere, filled with the gruesome and the sublime, and surprisingly faithful to the novel. A lot of things could have gone wrong, and none of them have: Chris Columbus’ movie is an enchanting classic that does full justice to a story that was a daunting challenge. The novel by J.K. Rowling was muscular and pictorial, and the danger was that the picture would make things too cute and cuddly. It doesn’t.

Harry Sleeps in a Cabinet

As far as Harry knows, his parents were killed in a car crash when he was an infant, and he’s stuck with his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley. Like a modern Cinderella, Harry sleeps in a cabinet and waits on his relatives hand and foot while his pudgy cousin Dudley is spoiled rotten. But as Harrys 11th birthday approaches, all of that changes. A gentle giant named Rubeus Hagrid shows up to advise Harry that he is a magician by birth and invite him to study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

At Hogwarts, Harry finds much of what his pitiful life has lacked. Close pals. Littles of his own family history. Charming skills. Recognition. Along with a starting position on the Quidditch team (think airborne soccer)an honor unheard of for a “first-year.” But he also gets a number of things he didn’t bargain for, including a mystery along with a ferocious three-headed dog named Fluffy. Most formidable, he finds he’s the object of renewed hatred from the evil Voldemort, who killed his parents. Harry meets the challenge head-on and faces off with this villain so wicked other magicians won’t even speak his name. Voldemort gets what’s coming to him, but you can be sure he’ll be back in the sequels.

Positive content

Two notable teachers at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, and Minerva McGonagall, are a few of the finest authority figures to grace a kids film in quite some time. Professor McGonagall is grim and a stickler for rules. But rather than scorning her, Harry and his pals like and respect her. Dumbledore proffers wise advice and instructs common sense. He becomes like a father to Harry, comforting him when he misses his parents and taking a time to talk through his questions and dilemmas.

When Harry is being assigned to one of Hogwarts four houses, the “sorting hat” assesses his character, then applauds him for having “bravery, talent, not a bad mind plus a thirst to establish [himself].” During the course of the narrative, it becomes clear to Harry that just as Lucifer was once a high angel these gifts could just as easily have landed him in the malevolent Slytherin house as in the noble Gryffindor. His own human potential for “going bad” brothers Harry until Dumbledore reminds him that he asked not to be placed in Slytherin and educates him that choosing the good over the bad makes all the difference.

The bad acts of dark-side wizards such as killing a unicorn for its life-giving blood denounced. Additionally, lines are spoken by villains expose black-side philosophy, which is then refuted when the scoundrels are defeated.

Harry’s Mother

When Harry discovers that it wasn’t a car crash that killed his parents, he also learns that his mother actually died saving his life. Dumbledore instructs him on the importance of sacrificial love, telling Harry, “love leaves a mark that lives in your very skin.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione go on an Indiana Jones-like experience, solving puzzles and dodging obstacles to unravel their mystery and uncover the sorcerers stone. One leg of the course is a life-sized chess game in which captured pieces get smashed by their rivals. As an accomplished chess player, Ron gets to call the shots, and in a heroic act, he loses his knight (and gets injured in the process) in order to save Harry.

Spiritual content

The enormous argument about Harry Potter, naturally, is whether its magic is of a spiritual or mechanical nature. More on that follows, but for now, charming elements are listed here as “religious content.”

Before he finds he’s a wizard, Harry accidentally dissolves the glass over a snake cage at the zoo. This begins to make sense to Harry when Hagrid comes to take him to Hogwarts. The giant asks, Did you ever make things happen that you could clarify? The light comes on for Harry his mysterious power comes from being a sorcerer. Hagrid makes Dudley grow a pigs tail. Doors open Ali Baba-style to a succession of taps from Hagrid’s pink umbrella (which also happens to shoot fire).

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Harry’s Spells

Harry and friends get to the platform for the Hogwarts Express by walking through a brick wall in a London train station. On the train, Ron tries to put a spell on his pet rat to turn it yellow. Other spells are of a similar type, spoken in Latin and meant to make changes in the physical land. Harry and his buddies take classes in Potions, The History of Magic, Defense Against the Dark Arts, etc. Their school supplies comprise robes and magic wands which they purchase on a bewitching street called Diagon Alley. When Harry goes to pick out a wand, he finds that it is the wand that instead picks him. Wandmaker Mr. Ollivander tells Harry that the wand he was destined for is a brother to the wand Voldemort used to kill Harry’s parents and give him his scar.

At Hogwarts, the ceiling in the Great Hall is bewitched to look like the night sky. Staircases go under the influence of long-lasting charms. The school celebrates Halloween with a huge banquet, but it also celebrates Christmas in exactly the same way. The dormitories are supervised by silvery-gray ghosts. The head of Harry’s dormitory is Nearly Headless Nick, who died 500 years previously in a botched decapitation.

What’s missing

Missing from the picture (and at no great loss) is the one category that, in the book, came closest to mentioning supernatural contactDivination. Also missing is a particularly problematic line in which Dumbledore says, “To the well-organized mind, death is merely the next great adventure.”
Also really troubling is the overarching idea that Harry is “rescued” from a miserable life by a couple of sorcerers and witches. Of course, there are two approaches to see this.

Audiences who bring to the film a background in Christian fantasy may see it as somewhat similar to C.S. Lewis Narnia enchanting world far more exciting and “fitting” for the human spirit than the basic actual world. On the other hand, there’s the likely interpretation that Harry is being “saved” by witchcraft, a disturbing notion to say the least. The immediate mental impact of a movie makes the notion even more dangerous because passive thrill seekers won’t necessarily ponder and process it as they might while reading a novel.

Violent content

Uncle Vernon never hits Harry, however, he treats him roughly at times. He also attempts to shoot at Hagrid, but the giant bends the end of his shotgun. Scenes that flashback to the departure of Harry’s parents are short and discreet, showing simply a flash of light and Harry’s mom falling to the ground. Hagrid kicks down a door when he comes to recover Harry from the Dursleys. (He then apologizes and puts it back in place.) One student gets caught on a runaway broom, crashes into a building and falls, breaking his wrist.

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Ron inadvertently gets hit in the nose with a broom handle. An enormous digitally animated troll smashes up a school bathroom and tries to hurt Hermione. A wand up the nose (gross!) distracts him and his own club eventually knocks him out. A Quidditch match turns awful and Harry is nearly knocked from his flying sweeper. Ron, Harry, and Hermione get trapped in the clutches of a vining plant with a barbarous will of its own. The chess scene is intense, with many shattering chess pieces. Ron gets forcefully knocked to the earth.

Battle Scene

Because watching film footage takes less time than reading pages, Harrys final battle scene is really shorter in the movie than in the book. Thankfully missing is a great deal of Voldemorts dialogue in which he repeatedly instructs a follower to kill Harry. Still, the scene is extreme, and for young viewers, terrifying. Things look grim for Harry at first, until he discovers that his mommies love has put a seal on him that makes it impossible for his enemy to touch him. (Instead, physical contact causes his foe to be charred to a crisp.) The evil wizard Voldemort leaves the building in a remarkable and somewhat frightening rush.

Finish

Apart from the exceptions noted, Harry Potter the movie is quite loyal to Harry Potter the book intelligent move on the part of filmmakers, who knew any critical departure would fast alienate the target market. The masterfully made film offers practically no surprises. That leaves us dealing with the same questions which have been lurking since the first copy of J.K. Rowling’s book rolled off the press.

The Parent Trap Movie Review

The Parent Trap is a 1998 family film remake of the 1961 Disney film of the same name. It was directed by Nancy Meyers and stars Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, and Lindsay Lohan (in her feature film debut). It’s founded on Erich Kstner’s novel Lottie and Lisa (Das Doppelte Lottchen). The storyline includes a group of twins who have been separated at birth and, upon meeting by chance, decide to work together to reunite their divorced parents.

Synopsis

Nick Parker (Quaid) and Elizabeth James (Richardson) met and married each other during an ocean cruise on the QE2. Elizabeth gave birth to twin daughters Annie and Hallie (both played by Lohan), but the couple divorced and lost contact with each other, each parent raising one of the twins without telling her about her sister. Nick raised Hallie in the Napa Valley and became a rich wine grower, while Elizabeth raised Annie in London and became a famed wedding gown designer.

After the ocean cruise and onboard wedding ceremony, the narrative leaps forward to a summer in which Nick and Elizabeth coincidentally register their daughters in precisely the same summer camp. Annie and Hallie, who are now eleven years of age, first meet at the end of a fencing match, when they remove their masks and see that they seem similarly.

A comical hostility between both girls leads to a prank war between them. However, the pranks finish when the camp counselors (named Marva Kulp Sr. and Marva Kulp Jr., and nicknamed Marvas) fall into one of Hallies traps, so they send the twins to the Isolation Cottage, thus distinguishing them from the other daughters.

Living together, Hallie and Annie find that they were born on the same day and they each have half of a split wedding photo of their parents. Comprehending with joy they are twins, the girls hatch a plan to meet their previously unknown parents: each daughter will train her twin to impersonate her, and they will change locations at the conclusion of the summertime.

When camp is over, the strategy triumphs: Hallie goes to London, where she meets her mother, her grandfather, and also the James family’s butler, Martin (Kunz). Annie goes to California, where she meets her dad, the Parker family’s housekeeper, Chessy (Walter), their dog, Sammy, and Nick’s fiance, a young gold digger named Meredith Blake (Hendrix).

Distressed by Meredith’s deviousness, Annie telephones Hallie and persuades her to bring Elizabeth to California to break up the engagement. Shortly the girls’ identities are found, and, except for Nick and Meredith, who remain oblivious of the switch, their newfound family members tearfully welcome them.

To be able to bring Nick and Elizabeth together, Hallie and Annie (along with some assistance from Grandpa, Chessy, and Martin) conspire to get them meet at a hotel in San Francisco by organizing for Nick to meet Meredith’s parents and by not telling Elizabeth about Meredith.

Nervous about meeting Nick, Elizabeth requests Martin to follow her and Hallie. After a few comical mix-ups in the resort, Nick and Elizabeth see each other, Nick finally learns about the switch, and the twins host a candlelit dinner for Nick and Elizabeth, served by Martin and Chessy, on a yacht decorated to recreate their first assembly. At dinner, Elizabeth says that Nick did not follow her after she left him. They make plans for the twins to spend vacations together, but decide against restarting their relationship.

Hallie and Annie take a disliking to this idea, so they pressure their parents to take them camping by refusing to disclose which twin is which. After Elizabeth convinces Nick and the girls to take Meredith instead of herself, the twins (possibly inspired by the pranks they’d pulled on each other at Camp Walden) take the opportunity to play several tricks on Meredith. As a result, Meredith becomes enraged and insists that Nick chooses between her and his daughters. Nick has an epiphany, eventually seeing Meredith for what she actually is, and selects the twins. Upset at this, Meredith breaks off the engagement.

After Meredith leaves, Nick shows Elizabeth his wine selection, including the wine they drank at their wedding. Elizabeth is reached via this gesture at first, but has a change of heart and returns to London with Annie. But when Elizabeth and Annie get home, they discover Hallie and Nick waiting for them, having flown there on the Concorde. Elizabeth is initially fearful of remarrying but changes her mind while yielding to Nick’s self-confidence, and Annie and Hallie look on happily as Nick and Elizabeth embrace.

The closing credits feature photographs of Nick and Elizabeth’s second wedding, also aboard the QE2, with the twins as bridesmaids, and Martin presenting Chessy with an engagement ring.

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Cast

Lindsay Lohan as Annie James/Hallie Parker
Dennis Quaid as Nick Parker
Natasha Richardson as Elizabeth James
Elaine Hendrix as Meredith Blake
Lisa Ann Walter as Chessy
Simon Kunz as Martin
Polly Vacation as Marva Kulp, Sr.
Maggie Wheeler as Marva Kulp, Jr.
Ronnie Stevens as Charles James
Joanna Barnes as Vicki Blake
Erin Mackey as Annie/Hallie double

Production

Principal photography began on July 15, 1997, in London, England and continued in Napa Valley, San Francisco, Lake Arrowhead and Los Angeles, California.

Music

The tune used in the opening sequence in which glimpses of Nick and Elizabeth’s first wedding is seen is Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E”. The song used in the end credits, in which photos of Nick and Elizabeth’s second wedding is seen, is his daughter Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”.

The instrumental music featured prominently in the hotel scene where the daughters and their parents cross paths serendipitously is “In the Mood”, which was formerly made famous by the Glenn Miller band. Later in the resort, Hallie sings a few bars of “Let’s Get Together”, a melody from the very first version of the film which was a success for its star, Hayley Mills.

When Hallie shows up at Annie’s poker game at Camp Walden, the music used is “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

The background tune heard in the campfire scene is “How Bizarre” by the music group OMC.

Soundtrack

“L-O-V-E” Nat King Cole
“Do You Believe in Magic” The Lovin’ Spoonful
“There She Goes” The La’s
“Top of the World” Shonen Knife
“Here Comes the Sun” Bob Khaleel
“(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” Linda Ronstadt
“Soulful Strut” Young-Holt Unlimited
“Never Let You Go” Jakaranda
“Bad to the Bone” George Thorogood & The Destroyers
“The Happy Club” Bob Geldof
“Suite from The Parent Trap” Alan Silvestri
“Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye Ray Charles and Betty Carter
“This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) Natalie Cole
“Dream Come True” Ta-Gana
“Groovin'” Pato Banton & The Reggae Revolution
“Let’s Get Together” Nobody’s Angel
“In the Mood” Glenn Miller

Result

The movie was met with generally positive reviews, holding an 86% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It entered the box office charts at number 2 on July 31, 1998. It ended up with a gross of over $66 million in the U.S. and $92,108,518 worldwide.

The film debuted on United Lands television (The Family Film Station) on October 4, 1999, and had 5.43 million viewers.

Reception

Upon release, the movie received generally favorable reviews from film critics. The site Rotten Tomatoes says that 86% of critics gave the movie a “Fresh” rating. On Metacritic, the movie has a score of 64/100, signaling “generally favorable”. Additionally, it received “two thumbs up” from Siskel and Ebert.

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $11,148,497 in 2,247 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office, behind Saving Private Ryan, was the finest introduction to a Disney movie that week. By the end of its own run, The Parent Trap grossed $66,308,518 domestically and $25,800,000 globally, totaling $92,108,518 world-wide.

Deleted scenes

The scene time slots between Hallie and Martin meeting at Heathrow Airport, and Hallie assembly her mom and grandpa. Hallie is in a limousine and they come across Buckingham Palace. She gets out as well as attempts to get one of the guards to go.

The guards then crowd about in configuration as the Queen exits Buckingham Palace in an automobile. The window rolls down and Hallie talks to the Queen, becoming confused with ‘Your Highness’ or ‘Your Majesty’ or whether to curtsy.

The Queen promises not to tell a soul and goes away. Director Nancy Meyers had a difficult time getting the uniforms, place, and an actress to play the Queen. Although the scene is shot well, the scene was deleted due to pacing issues.

Another deleted scene appears in the preview that debuted in 1998. The scene shows Hallie standing out on the deck of her winery-estate house. She sees a shooting star and sings the rhyme “Starlight, Starbright.” Annie appears standing outside her window, also.

In the original draft of the script, many scenes are changed or deleted. An extended ear-piercing scene is in. While putting the needle through Annie’s ear, Hallie cries and passes out. Annie gradually smacks Hallie in the face, attempting to wake her up. After Hallie wakes up, she inquires Annie, “Are you bleeding to death? Did it hurt?” Annie tells her no to both questions and reveals Hallie the needle again, and tells her to finish with all the other because she (Annie) won’t go through life with only one pierced ear. Hallie passes out again.

TOY STORY: MOVIE REVIEW

Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by John Lasseter in his directorial debut, Toy Story was the first feature-length computer-animated film and the first theatrical film produced by Pixar.

Taking place in a world where anthropomorphic toys pretend to be lifeless whenever people are present, the film’s plot targets the relationship between Woody, an old-fashioned pull-string cowboy doll (voiced by Tom Hanks), and Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut action figure (voiced by Tim Allen), as they evolve from rivals competing for the affections of Andy, their owner, to friends who work together to be reunited with Andy as his family prepares to move to a new residence. The screenplay was written by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, based on a story by Lasseter, Pete Docter, Stanton and Joe Ranft. The movie features music by Randy Newman and was executive-produced by Steve Jobs and Edwin Catmull.

Plot

In a world where toys are living things who pretend to be dead when individuals are found, a group of playthings, owned by six-year-old Andy Davis, are caught off-guard when Andy’s birthday party is moved up a week, as Andy, his single mother and infant sister Molly are preparing to move the following week. The toys’ leader and Andy’s favorite toy, an old-fashioned cowboy doll named Sheriff Woody organizes the other playthings, including Bo Peep the shepherdess, Mr. Potato Head, Rex the Dinosaur, Hamm the Piggy Bank and Slinky Dog, into a scouting mission. Green army men, directed by Sarge, spy on the bash and report the results to the others via baby monitors. The toys are relieved when the party appears to end with none of them having been replaced, but then Andy receives a surprise gift an electronic toy space ranger action figure named Buzz Lightyear, who believes that he is an actual space ranger.

Buzz impresses the other playthings with his various characteristics, and Andy begins to favor him, making Woody feel left out. As Andy prepares for a family excursion at Pizza Planet, his mother allows him to bring only one toy along. Fearing Andy will select Buzz, Woody attempts to trap him behind a desk, but ends up knocking him out a window instead, leading to the other toys accusing Woody of murdering Buzz out of jealousy. Before they can exact punishment, Andy takes Woody instead and leaves for Pizza Planet. When the family stops for gasoline, Woody finds that Buzz has hitched a ride on the auto as well, and also the two fight, only to locate the family has left without them. They manage to make their way to the restaurant by stowing away on a pizza delivery truck, where Buzz, still believing he is a real space ranger despite Woody’s attempts to convince him otherwise, gets them stuck in a crane game, where they are picked out by Andy’s damaging neighbor Sid Phillips.

Woody efforts to escape from Sid’s house, but Buzz, finally discovering he’s a plaything, sinks into despondency. Sid plans to launch Buzz on a firework rocket, but his plans are delayed by a thunderstorm. Woody tells Buzz about the enjoyment he can bring to Andy as a toy, restoring his self-confidence. The next morning, Woody and Sid’s mutant plaything creations rescue Buzz just as Sid is about to launch the rocket and scare Sid into no longer abusing playthings by coming to life in front of him, and he runs into his house while shouting. Woody and Buzz afterward leave Sid’s house just as Andy and his family drive away toward their new dwelling.

The duo tries to make it to the moving truck, but Sid’s dog, Scud, sees them and gives chase. Buzz gets left behind, and Woody attempts rescuing him with Andy’s RC car, but the other toys, thinking Woody eliminated RC as well, attack and toss him off the truck. Having evaded Scud, Buzz and RC pick up Woody and continue after the truck. Upon seeing Woody and Buzz collectively on RC, the other playthings realize their mistake and attempt to assist them to get back aboard but RC’s batteries become depleted, stranding them. Woody ignites the rocket on Buzz’s back and manages to throw RC into the truck before they soar into the air. Buzz opens his wings to free himself from the rocket before it explodes, gliding with Woody to land safely into a box in the van, right next to Andy.

On Christmas Day, at their new house, Woody and Buzz stage another reconnaissance mission to prepare for the brand new toy comings. As Woody jokingly asks what might be worse than Buzz, they detect Andy’s new present is a puppy, along with the two share a concerned smile.

POSITIVE ELEMENTS

Woody must learn to contend with feelings of envy, rejection and also the humiliation of being demoted to second-best. Meanwhile, the pompous Buzz is forced to sort through his own identity crisis bred by delusions of grandeur. In a moving scene, he is devastated when a TV commercial blares forth the truth about his factory birth. Afterward, he bravely chooses to accept his identity and impact his universe as a plaything.

Woody and Buzz square off early, but the two foes find themselves relying on each another for survival when thrust into the cold, brutal “real” world. It turns out the most dangerous area on earth is right next door. A barbaric young neighbor named Sid tortures toys in ways that might initially frighten very young children, but even these hideously mistreated playthings reveal a soft side as they befriend Woody, and collectively they summon to save Buzz and instruct their malicious owner to treat his toys with a bit more kindness.

See: TANGLED: BEFORE EVER AFTER

VIOLENT CONTENT

Sid is a pint-sized Unabomber wannabe. He’s an “I (heart) explosives” sticker in his room. And we hear him cackle maniacally on several occasions. His handiwork makes for a few of the most horrible examples of toy maltreatment ever conceived of by a shifty-eyed computer animator. He blows up a defenseless soldier toy with a bottle rocket. He replaces the head of one of his sister’s dolls with that of a plaything pterodactyl. And we know it’s not the first time Sids mangled his sister’s dolls because Buzz has tea with several headless. Thus, the toys in Sid’s rooms are creepy, Dr. Moreau-like creations. Once, he even starts to burn Woody “skin” with a magnifier.

When the playthings team up with Woody to frighten Sid out of his wits, several burnt dolls and mangled toy soldiers rise from the sandbox like B-movie zombies, staggering toward the boy with nails protruding out of their heads or limbs dangling from their bodies as if they’re auditioning for Night of the Plastic Dead.

Andys none-too-gentle with his toys, either, sending Woody flying down a stairway banister or soaring through the air. But at least he’s not strapping firecrackers to their backs.
Buzz loses an arm when he tries to fly out an open window and instead bounces down a flight of stairs. He and Woody have a serious brawl underneath a car at a gas station, too, and Andys playthings hurl Woody out of a going, er, moving the van. An Etch A Sketch also threatens Woody with a lynching, hurriedly sketching an old-fashioned noose. Woody gets bonked on the head by a tool box (and all its accompanying tools).

The pizza restaurant features a “Whack a Strange” game just like the popular “Whack a Mole,” just with critters popping out of a simulated, blood-drenched chest.

Disneys blockbuster Toy Story is made around eye-popping animation, lifelike characters and strict attention to detail. The film creates an impressive, 3 D computer-generated world in which toys take on a life of their own when their owners aren’t looking. The result is a sweet confection for the eyes and ears that are typically as wholesome as it is visually breathtaking.

Tangled: Before Ever After

Tangled: The Show is an American 2D-animated musical fantasy television series that premiered on Disney Channel on March 10, 2017, as a movie, and began airing routine episodes from March 24, 2017.

It’s founded on Disney’s 2010 computer animated movie Tangled directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. It takes place between the original film and the short Tangled Ever After. A teaser trailer was released during the Disney Channel Original Movie, The Swap. It started as a Disney Channel Original Movie, titled Tangled: Before Ever After, which premiered on March 10, 2017.

The show will feature new songs from Alan Menken, who composed the score and songs for the first movie, and Glenn Slater. Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, and M.C. Gainey reprise their characters. On February 15, 2017, it was declared the series had been renewed for another season ahead of the show premiere.

Storyline

It’s been six months since Rapunzel was returned to her family, and now she’s to become the official Princess of Corona. Nonetheless, on the day of her welcoming service, Rapunzel and Eugene, riding Maximus and Fidello, are outside in the woods racing each other to the edge wall together with the Royal Guards in pursuit. Splitting up, Two of the guards pursue Eugene while the third pursues Rapunzel.

Eugene, as well as the Captain jump above a log as their horses, go under, but the following guard’s horse doesn’t do the same thing, along with the guard falls to the ground. Rapunzel and Fidello almost run over a herd of bunnies, but manage to avoid treading on them.

The guard following her, however, crashes into the bunnies. Eugene and Rapunzel regroup and together jump past a river. Rapunzel is the first to make it to the wall and climbs to the top where she sees on the other side a brilliant view of the land past the kingdom. Rapunzel wants to see what was out there and hopes to someday. After a while admiring the view with Eugene, the Guards catch up and escort the both of them back to the castle for Rapunzel’s coronation ceremony.

Upon returning to the castle, Rapunzel’s lady in waiting, Cassandra is waiting for her. Cassandra has been given the job to care for Rapunzel and help her fit in. While Rapunzel is happy to be reunited with her family, she struggles to adapt to her new life as a princess. She’s not able to go out into town without being greatly escorted by the Royal Guards, she does not know how exactly to correctly greet noble individuals who have come for her royal coronation and lacks at wearing shoes.

She tries her best, and despite having a loving family and a supportive group of buddies, Rapunzel feels overwhelmed with the quantity of duty that comes with being a princess. Due to her father’s anxiety of losing her again, he denies her urge to explore the world. On the eve of her coronation, it all becomes too much for Rapunzel, especially when Eugene builds up the courage to propose to her.

Rapunzel is shocked and pleased, but despite her love for him, she will not feel prepared to wed him. Instead, she wants to figure herself out and live the life she’s been longing for. Overwhelmed and concerned, she rejects Eugene’s proposal and leaves the scene in a huff. Returning to her room, Cassandra considers Rapunzel could use some down time. So she offers to creep her out for the castle and take her beyond Corona’s security wall.

Eugene goes to Rapunzel’s room wanting to talk with her about his suggestion. He’s initially denied entry by orders from Cassandra but manages to enter upon convincing the guards. Eugene enters Rapunzel’s room and upon hearing him, Pascal creates an illusion of Rapunzel, pretending to be her. Considering Pascal’s illusion to be Rapunzel, Eugene begins to apologize for putting her on the spot but assures he genuinely loves her and needs to have a future together.

See: MOVIE REVIEW ON THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Eugene further clarifies that while acknowledging he may have rushed matters, he only wanted to keep the love and relationship they’ve collectively as he got used to having nothing growing up until now. Yet, Pascal can no longer check the delusion, inadvertently disclosing himself to Eugene and causing him to discover Rapunzel’s lack.

While hunting for Rapunzel inside the fortress, Eugene is interrupted when King Frederic arrives and discovers his activities, becoming funny. Eugene creates an excuse, but King Frederic stays dubious and asks for Rapunzel’s location.

Eugene lies asserting Rapunzel is still in her room and keeps him from entering as she is still upset and needs time alone. King Frederic reluctantly honors Eugene’s wishes but orders him to tell Rapunzel they need to discuss shortly. Eugene starts to apologize for the occasions regarding his proposition to Rapunzel at the banquet, but King Frederic sternly answers they’ll speak of the issue later, leaving Eugene and Pascal to restart their search.

Accompanied by Maximus and Fidello, Rapunzel and Cassandra sneak out of the citadel and enterprise into the woods. Climbing over the wall and crossing an old bridge, Cassandra takes the princess to the prior place of the fixing flower that saved Rapunzel and her mother when the latter fell ill during her pregnancy.

Cryptic thorn-like rocks have appeared in the region, and not only are they baleful, but in addition unbreakable. As Rapunzel analyzes the area farther, she is hit by magic the moment she lays a finger on one of the stone. Part of her hair begins to glow, and more of those cryptic rocks suddenly sprout from the earth. Rapunzel and Cassandra run back to the old bridge, pursued by a trail of sprouting stone.

Running far ahead, Rapunzel’s hair starts to burn even more brilliant, and as she makes it out of the woods her long blond hair which was cut grows back. No time to determine what had just occurred, Rapunzel and Cassandra cross the bridge, only for Rapunzel’s hair to get stuck. The bridge beneath them begins to crumble apart, but with Maximus’ help, the girls manage to free Rapunzel’s hair and also make it safely to solid ground before the bridge eventually collapsed.

As morning increases on the day of her coronation, Rapunzel and Cassandra sneak back in the castle and waste no time trying to get rid of the hair. Nonetheless, they find that Rapunzel’s newly restored hair is unbreakable like the thorns. They attempt everything from fundamental scissors to a battle ax, but nothing out of all of Cassandra’s collection of weapons appear capable to cut the hair.

Rapunzel is left baffled on what to do. She cannot let her parents understand about her hair and nor can she be seen with it at her coronation service. To be able to hide it, Cassandra and Eugene help Rapunzel conceal her hair in an oversized wig. Regardless of the awkwardness, the wig helps.

While Rapunzel is having breakfast with her parents, King Frederic reveals that after discussing with Arianna, acknowledges his approaches regarding Rapunzel’s independence have been fairly unjust. He admits his problem of balancing his role as both King and her dad but promises to reconsider his approaches.

Yet, King Frederic also starts to explain of Rapunzel’s future as Queen, showing she will get many responsibilities, for example shielding Corona from risks both outside and inside the kingdom. In this time, several pirates are perpetrating offenses through the kingdom, but all are soon caught and taken to the dungeons at the fortress. Eugene sees Cassandra attempting to discover what is disturbing Rapunzel and why she’s keeping secrets.

But when Cassandra refuses to answer his questions, Eugene discloses his knowledge that Cassandra doesn’t approve of his and Rapunzel’s relationship, but attempts to ensure he only desires what’s best for Rapunzel. Cassandra quickly begins to depart the room but shows her beliefs that Eugene just cares about his own needs and isn’t thinking about Rapunzel’s best interests.

The royal family is faced by a pirate referred to as Lady Caine, who seeks vengeance on King Frederic for imprisoning her father. It turns out that after Rapunzel was kidnapped the King began to unfairly imprison all of the outlaws in the kingdom including Lady Caine’s father who was just an only small thief.

Frederic and also the remainder of the royal guests are kidnapped, but Rapunzel refuses to stand down and reveals her gold hair. She uses it as a weapon to conquer the pirates with Eugene and Cassandra’s help, saving her dad. That night, despite proving her value, Frederic feels more vulnerable about Rapunzel’s security than in the past.

With the very reason Rapunzel was shot in the very first place having returned, Frederic believes he’s made to prohibit Rapunzel from ever leaving the walls of Corona without his authorization.
With her dad’s new law, Rapunzel feels trapped once more, similar to her incarceration within the tower. In her bedroom, Eugene arrives and comforts her, uplifting her spirits a little. Eugene starts to apologize for placing her on the spot with his marriage proposal and Rapunzel apologizes for her poor reaction.

Eugene guarantees Rapunzel and shows that while he does not understand her choice he swears to do everything he can to comprehend and certainly will choose their relationship slow. After he leaves, Rapunzel reads a message in the diary given to her by her mom and becomes inspired to live her life to the fullest despite the obstacles she’ll need to confront.
Cast

Mandy Moore as Rapunzel
Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider
Eden Espinosa as Cassandra
Julie Bowen as Queen Arianna
Clancy Brown as King Frederic
Jeffrey Tambor as Big Nose
Sean Hayes as Pete the Guard
Paul F. Tompkins as Shorty
Diedrich Bader as Stan the Guard
M. C. Gainey as Captain of the Guards
Laura Benanti as Lady Caine
1. Steven Blum as Attila Buckethead
Tunes
Life After Happily Ever After
Wind in My Hair

Movie Review on The Beauty and the Beast

Learn More About The Beauty and the Beast Movie

The Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 American musical romantic fantasy film directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Mandeville Films.The picture is a live-action/CGI-animated remake of Disney’s 1991 animated movie of exactly the same name, itself an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century fairy tale.

The film features an ensemble cast which includes Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the titular characters with Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson in supporting roles.

Principal photography commenced at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England on May 18, 2015, and ended on August 21. Beauty and the Beast premiered on February 23, 2017, at Spencer House in London and was released in the USA on March 17, 2017, in the conventional, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, IMAX, and IMAX 3D formats along with Dolby Cinema. The movie received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2017 as well as the 21st highest-grossing movie of all time.

Plot

In Rococo-era France, an old beggar woman offers a Prince just one rose in exchange for shelter. When he refuses, she reveals herself to be an enchantress and punishes the Prince by transforming him into a monstrous beast and his servants into various household objects and erasing their existence from the memories of their family members.

The enchantress profits to hex the rose, warning the Prince that, unless he learns to love another and earns her love in return before the last petal falls, he and his servants will lose their humanity forever.

Several years afterward, in the nearby village of Villeneuve, a young woman named Belle lives with her father Maurice, an artist and tinkerer. Gaston, a famous former soldier, seeks her hand in marriage, but she is repulsed by his arrogance and narcissism. On a trip to the market to sell music boxes, Maurice and his horse Philippe lose their way in the forest and are attacked by wolves.

They seek refuge at the castle, but Maurice is imprisoned by the Beast as penance for taking a rose from the garden. When she realizes her father is missing upon Philippe’s abrupt entrance, Belle ventures into the woods in search for him, and finds him locked in the castle’s dungeon. The Beast confronts her and accepts her offer to take her dad’s place.

Belle befriends the servants in the castle. After the servants treat her to a dramatic dinner, she eventually wanders into the forbidden west wing and finds the rose. The Beast, enraged, frightens Belle into fleeing into the woods.

Nevertheless, he after rescues her from a pack of wolves but gets injured in the method. Belle escorts him back to the fortress and nurses him back to health. A friendship develops, and the servants tell her she may be the one who can break the curse. The Beast develops feelings for Belle and enables her access to his library.

However, Belle remains doubtful of her feelings on account of her imprisonment. The Beast shows Belle a gift the enchantress gave him, a publication that could take people wherever they needed. Belle uses it to bring the Beast and herself to the attic of an old windmill in Paris, where she used to live with her parents as an infant. Upon finding a plague doctor mask, Belle discovers that she and her father were forced to leave her mother’s deathbed as the latter succumbed to the plague.

Meanwhile, Maurice returns to Villeneuve but is unable to convince the others to rescue Belle. Gaston agrees to help Maurice, but when he reveals that he only agreed to help Maurice in order to acquire his favor to give Belle to Gaston in marriage, Maurice refuses. In response, Gaston ties up Maurice in the forest to be killed by wolves. Maurice is rescued by a hermit, Agathe, and accuses Gaston of his crime, but Gaston convinces the townsfolk to send Maurice to the local insane asylum.

After sharing a romantic dance with the Beast, Belle finds her dad’s plight using the magic mirror. The Beast releases her to save Maurice, giving her the mirror to remember him with. At Villeneuve, Belle proves Maurice’s sanity by revealing the Beast in the mirror to the townsfolk.

Understanding that Belle loves the Beast, Gaston has her thrown into the asylum carriage with her father and musters the villagers to follow him to the citadel to slay the Beast. Maurice and Belle escape from confinement and Belle hurries back to the castle.

During the ensuing fight, Gaston abandons his companion LeFou, who sides with the servants to fend off the villagers. Gaston attacks the Beast in his tower, who is initially too depressed to fight back, but regains his will upon seeing Belle return.

He corners Gaston but spares his life before reuniting with Belle. Nevertheless, Gaston fatally shoots the Beast in the back; shortly afterward the stone bridge that Gaston is standing on falls and sends him to his departure.

The Animal perishes as the last rose petal falls along with the citadel’s servants become fully inanimate. Belle professes her love to him, then Agathe reveals herself to be the enchantress and undoes the hex, restoring the Beast’s life and person form. The servants’ humankind and also the villagers’ memories are also restored, with several villagers recognizing some of the servants as their relatives. The Prince and Belle host a ball for the kingdom, where they dance happily.

CONNECTED

Emma Watson stars as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

When you watch the new Beauty and the Beast, you’re in a prosaic universe of dark and stormy sets, one that appears a whole lot like other (stagy) films you’ve seen. The visual design, especially in the Animals imperial curlicued fortress, is gentrified gothic Tim Burton de-quirked.

At the beginning, when Belle (Emma Watson) walks out of her house and drifts through the village singing Belle, that lovely lyrical meet-the-day ode that mingles optimism with a yearning for something more, the shots and beats are all in place, the spirit is there, you can see within 15 seconds that Emma Watson has the perfect perky soulfulness to bring your dream of Belle to life and still, the amount feels like something out of one of those exceedingly bustling big-screen musicals from the late 60s that helped to bury the studio system. Its not that the director, Bill Condon does anything too clunky or square.

That’s true of most of the very first element of the picture, right up until the point when Belle saves her kindly inventor dad, Maurice (Kevin Kline), from the Creatures citadel where he’s being held a prisoner for having assaulted a bloom by trading places with him.

Belle, a wistful bookworm, is the odd girl out in her village, and she has already brushed off several encounters with Gaston (Luke Evans), the duplicitous hunk who became a new Disney archetype (in Frozen, etc.): the fine, big-chinned, icky monomaniacal two-faced suitor. On first meeting, however, the Beast appears nearly as dark.

He’s a prince who was cursed and turned into a monster for having no love in him, and also the best thing about the movie along with its biggest divergence from the animated version is that he’s a strikingly downbeat character, a petulant and morose romantic trapped in a body that makes him feel nothing less than doomed.

Which is to say, the brand new Beauty and the Beast is not as kid-friendly a film. It attempts to be in particular sequences, notably those featuring Lumire the candelabra (voiced by Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth the pendulum clock (Ian McKellen), and Garderobe the wardrobe (Audra McDonald) all of whom are basically tactile live-action animated characters.

The Be Our Guest musical number scrupulously animates the dancing-plate surreal exuberance of the original, but there the frenetic nuttiness was exquisite. Here it tricks between exhilarating and exhausting since you can feel the special-effects-heavy lifting that went into it.

See: FINDING DORY: AN ENTIRE FILM REVIEW ON FINDING DORY

Production

A Walt Disney Studios release of a Walt Disney Pictures, Mandeville Films production. Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman. Executive producers: Don Hahn, Tomas Schumacher, Jeffrey Silver.

Crew

Director: Bill Condon. Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos. Camera (color, widescreen): Tobias A. Schliessler. Editor: Virginia Katz.
With
Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci.

Finding Dory: An Entire Film Review on Finding Dory

A favorite subject that is bobbing about the web these days: Will the summer of Hollywood’s sequel and prequel box office displeasure bounce back together with the coming of “Finding Dory,” Pixar and Disney’s double-dip back flip into the exact same animated pool of undersea beings that propelled 2003’s wondrously endearing “Finding Nemo”?

Thus, it’s a relief to notice that the follow-up has lots of mental baits, some great lines and is no stinker, despite only following what numbers to the same storyline current as before except to the Pacific Coast of California instead of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. If “Finding Nemo” felt like a blissful day on the shore, then “Finding Dory” is an eventful afternoon for an aquatic park—or, in this instance, the Marine Life Institute that, as the omniscient recorded voice of Sigourney Weaver assure any PC-oriented visitors to the facility, is dedicated not to human amusement but to “Saving, Rehabilitation and Release.” “Finding Dory” is finally worth the voyage, although the end result might be less executing this time.

The Voices

This moving, beautifully voice-played experience is everything a sequel should be fulfilling, full of new characters and lovable old, and, just as Dory would need, absolutely unforgettable. DeGeneres’ performance is pitch-perfect — as is that of her younger counterpart (Sloane Murray) in flashbacks to Dory’s youth growing up with her adoring parents, Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy), who cleverly work around her memory state by supporting means she can recall to get back home. DeGeneres’ voice wonderfully evokes the loneliness, depression, wonder, confusion, hope, and happiness of Dory.

Crowds may also adore characters that are new in Finding Dory such as the chameleonic, curmudgeonly Hank, who needs the label that gives her transport to the Cleveland Aquarium as a means of preventing his eventual release back into the ocean of Dory. Dory additionally reacquaints herself with her old buddy Destiny (Kaitlyn Olson), a nearsighted whale shark, and meets Destiny’s neighbor, Bailey (Ty Burrell), a beluga; the whales have a pleasure, bantery vibe. As well as a set of sea lions expressed by The Wire co-stars Dominic West and Idris Elba provides comic relief as they help Nemo and Marlin hitch a ride into the institute by means of a loon that was kooky. It teaches valuable lessons about the unconditional love of family, teamwork, as well as handicaps pulls at the heart strings; and is as memorable a picture as Pixar’s finest although Dory’s adventure is discreet than Nemo’s.

The Story

What if Sebastian the Crab has been wrong all this time? “Dear, it’s better down where it’s wetter”, he crooned in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, back in 1989. But in Finding Dory, the fresh film from Pixar Animation Studios – released in the UK after breaking box office records in the US – the world below the sea isn’t a bower of bliss.

Eerily amazing, yes: kelp forests, tall as skyscrapers, lean and bend in the current, while bioluminescent giant squid glide like phantoms round the wreck of submerged trawlers. However, for a small fish lost in the largest pond of all, it’s daunting.

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That fish is Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the bright blue regal tang whose constant short-term memory loss made her such an ironically unforgettable comic sidekick in Finding Nemo, the 2003 Pixar classic to which this movie functions as an out of the blue innovative and stirring sequel. When we meet Dory here, she’s a lost kid, asking passersby to help locate her kind-eyed parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), whom she recalls vividly in flashback, but does not have any notion the best way to find.

Buffered by currents, she locates the means to the Australian reef that’s a house for clownfish Marlon (Albert Brooks) and his only son Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence: horrifyingly, the original Nemo, Alexander Gould, is now 22). Where Dory is prepared to set out on a journey of her own, at which point we fade to the same reef one year after, then the initial picture’s experience starts. In the middle of her thoughts, that recollection of her parent’s glimmers – and she surmises, maybe she’ll discover herself also, in finding them.

Her odyssey takes her to a Marine Life Institute in California, whose various prisoners – including a surly octopus called Hank (Ed O’Neill) who dreams of retirement in a Cleveland aquarium, to a beluga whale fighting to master sonar (Ty Burrell), and an uproarious pair of sea lions (Idris Elba and Dominic West) – do their best to reunite her with her people.

It’s worth noting in Finding Dory there’s no villain: manager/co-writer Andrew Stanton, back following the live action misfire in the Pixar fold John Carter, recognizes mental positions needed and that only negotiate life supplies all the danger.

Pixar has a history of merciless extortion where complicated and extreme emotions are worried. (Take the heartbreaking opening of Upward, or the entirety of Inside Out, or the now-infamous climactic furnace scene in Toy Story 3, which essentially made sense of Kierkegaardian endless resignation in terms a five-year-old, or even the parents of one, could comprehend.)

Finding Dory doesn’t aim as high as those three studio personal bests. Although it still browses catchy emotional land using tact and a perceptiveness that’s not only storytelling that is amazing but could be a real comfort to kids and parents alike who out of the blue see themselves in Dory’s circumstances.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lord of the Rings is dead. The Lord of the Rings lives. Where only a few years past we could approach Christmas safe in the knowledge that Santa, aka the equally jolly and bearded Peter Jackson, would be gifting us the latest installment of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth trilogy, last year we needed to make do with damp squib The Polar Express.

How great afterward to the display to welcome – at last! – The very first episode of The Chronicles of Narnia by Tolkien’s friend CS Lewis that is lifelong. And improbable. Lewis detested the notion of his Christian allegory being interpreted to the monitor. He believed its innovative innocence would be sullied. He lamented that Walt Disney united “so much vulgarity with his brilliance”. Well, that was in 1959. Almost half a century after comes to Disney hoping to produce a gay-season family movie franchise.

Andrew Adamson, the Midas-touched manager accountable for Shrek, has been brought in to do justice to Lewis’s brilliant narratives, which, as millions of readers both young and old will attest, are as riveting now as they were when they were first printed.

The good news is that he is hardly tinkered with the originals. He’s turned down the chance to place the story in urban Britain, to recruit ex-cast members of Hollyoaks up the cast to sex, or to tack a Rachel Stevens tune on to the credits.

So, the same as the good old, depressing previous days, the four Pevensie kids – Lucy (Georgie Henley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Peter (William Moseley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) – who’ve been evacuated from wartorn London to the countryside, step by means of a wardrobe while attempting to conceal out of their temporary stepmother. They discover themselves in a gleaming winter landscape called Narnia, which is populated by fauns, talking trees and a dreadfully vindictive White Witch called Jadis (Tilda Swinton).

The storyline of the movie unraveled puzzles, many secrets, and several turns. The costumes were breathtaking as they highlighted standing and the characters character. For instance, the Witch wore a hefty white coat at the beginning of the film indicating to the crowd that she’s a cool, frigid girl. The soundtrack was vital in the movie. Seems to glory, delight, and anxiety was place in the film to make the picture edgy and more innovative. To enhance the movie, they might have enhanced the start because it was an extremely slow beginning. If the story had a start that is better, the film would be more enjoyable.

It turns out that the Pevensies are engaged in a desperate conflict of good versus evil. They’re looked after by two kindly beavers (voiced by Dawn French and Ray Winstone) and a righteous lion, Aslan (Liam Neeson), who shield them from the increasingly brutal depredations of the witch and her ugly group of hags, satyrs, dwarfs, horny-headed munchkins and hairy oompah-loompahs. Across rural battlegrounds, wild woods and frozen lakes they race – eternally chasing or being pursued, killing or being killed.

Rumour has it that studio execs, expecting to tap into exactly the same marketplace for Christian films shown by the success last year of The Passion of the Christ, have been placing on specific screenings for crowds that are evangelical.

It looks tough to envision that they’ll be quite as carried by the (true shocking) sight of Aslan getting his mane sheared and mice nibbling at the ropes that bind him as they did when James Caviezel’s Jesus was being flayed. For sure, oldest son Peter stops the movie wearing crusader-design ensembles and staring into space with martyrological intensity, but it is just taken by the Christianity in this film or leave it. Most children will not recognize they’ve been seeing an allegory. That is a pity: The Lord of the Rings was prepared to give plenty of time to describing arcane Middle Earth lore; does Disney believe that issuing overly Christian a hit – at Christmas of all times – would be too much of a risk that is commercial?

However, there are loads to be consumed by here. Tilda Swinton for one. She’s got the build and martial art of a Leni Riefenstahl heroine sports matted dreadlocks she looks like a Notting Hill trustafarian -maiden Boudicca and has albinoid eyes which are coy and murderously venomous.

We’re seduced and repelled by her in equal measure, and she commands our attention more potently than Aslan – not merely because his brand of good is particularly dull (it isn’t), but because Neeson gives him a voice as commanding as that of a soft-cloth-wearing prize announcer on The Generation Game.

See more: MOANA: A MOVIE REVIEW

This must be the first Hollywood picture in years – wolves, in fact – who talk with American accents. When Peter, already playing in the manner of a would be Henry V, brings down his sword on one of them, he appears to be sticking up two fingers to “the particular relationship”.

The truth is, from milky-cheeked chubster Lucy declaring “We Are not heroes; we are from Finchley”, to ration-starved Edmund betraying his sibs for Turkish delight, of a supporting cast which includes Jim Broadbent, this really is a movie that exults in its Englishness. Tolkien notoriously faulted Lewis for mixing up characters from Christian, medieval and even folkloric ages. A pastiche at heart, Adamson, catches and smashes components – great ones, luckily – from The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Creature Comforts. For the forte of someone whose, his live action introduction is really not in any way bad, although the camerawork is frenetic during the earlier periods of the films. The computer effects and there are plenty of them, are for the reined in, even though the climactic battle scenes appear as though they have emerged directly out of a mobile phone games program.

Moana: A Movie Review

Moana

Disney is back once again with Moana as well as the extent to which you already appreciate the studio will determine how much you get out of their latest.

A couple of years ago, people watched every single one of their animated classics (at the time, 52 of them) in one year and wrote lengthy articles about each one. Their contention through the entire job was that these are far more than simply kids’ pictures, they’re important works of art – not all of them good, by any means – which can be subjected to as much critical interrogation and evaluation as any film by David Fincher or whoever else “serious” film critics are obsessing over.

If anything, wrestling with the thoughts and craftsmanship of Disney’s output is more significant than doing so for a lot of others as the studio applies a massive cultural influence over waves and waves of children. Only think, there’s a whole generation growing up with ‘ Let It Go’ as their mantra. Moana is frustrating because it’s a terrific movie and an entire pile more fun than Frozen, but Disney are still clinging to the ideologies that have shaped their storytelling since The Little Mermaid in 1989 and it’s getting more difficult to simply shrug it off.

The Story

Set in the South Pacific of islands, monsters, and the vastness of the ocean, the individuals of Motunui Island (a Maori island community) are by Chief Tui Waialiki (Temuera Morrison), who’s grooming his headstrong daughter, Moana (Auli’l Cravalho) for her eventual leadership, placing the emphasis on the necessity to continue on their home island and not to explore the planet beyond the horizon. Longing to sail the open waters, but still respectful to her dad, Moana strives to fulfill her responsibilities as the chieftain’s daughter, but when isle’s resources are running out, hit by a curse which was activated long ago by the demigod’s Maui (Dwayne Johnson), who stole a mystical stone from the island goddess Te Fiti.

With her grandmother, Tala (Rachel House), urging her to reach out into the unknown (like her ancestors before her), Moana hits the high seas with her absentminded pet rooster Hei-Hei, out to locate Maui and return the rock to its rightful owner. Upon meeting the shapeshifting demigod, Maui needs nothing to do with Moana, who is too self-absorbed with himself to see the young girl’s issues. However, after some convincing to find his massive fish hook (the source of his power), Maui joins up Moana and together chart a course to find reunite Te Fiti with her purloined stone, prepared to fight the titular lava monster Te Ka, who safeguards the goddess’s isle.

The Music

Moana is filled with great scenes and unforgettable musical moments. “We Know the Way,” which is sung by Lin Manuel Miranda himself, is a booming, delightfully staged piece, as well as the reprise at the end of the picture is nothing short of spectacular. In addition, Jemaine Clement nearly steals the show as Tamatoa, a giant crab who feels like a more humorous riff on Smaug from the Hobbit films. “Shiny” is Clement’s main musical showcase, and it’s as hilarious and goofy as anything in the film.

The whole sequence with Tamatoa is terrific, also it is one of the most important elements of the quest that Moana and Maui embark on. However, that dynamite scene is upstaged by an action beat involving an army of coconut creatures. It’s a clear homage to George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. It is such a breathtaking moment in a movie filled with them.

The Voices

The voice cast in Moana is a strong one, with both Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and novice Auli’i Cravalho carrying most of the picture with the two primary protagonist characters Moana and Maui. With the idea of using a Polynesian setting for the feature, Disney went to length to discover the voice for Moana, selecting Cravalho, a Hawaiian native and Polynesian descent, over hundreds of other Polynesian women. To their credit, Disney selection was a stellar one as Cravalho is absolutely perfect for voicing Moana, an energetic and plucky sixteen-year-old heroine, handling all the broad variety of emotions from serious, to cheeky, sadness, and all others in-between. What also reinforces Cravalho’s Moana is that the fact she can sing, making the song “How Way I’ll Go” that much more impactful. Simply speaking, Auli’i Cravalho is Moana….no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The ocean is calling and adventure lies beyond the horizon in Disney’s latest animated feature Moana. Duo directors John Musker and Ron Clements present the 56th animated narrative from the “House of the Mouse”, providing an entertaining tale from start to finish that highlights the Polynesian culture with an empowering female lead. While it may not be a palpable or affecting as Zootopia, Moana succeeds in continuing the celebratory trademark by Disney’s illustrious past, with striking visuals musical songs, colorful characters, strong wit, and a powerful storyline. It was a great return to Disney’s “old magic” of old, while also embracing some ideals in storytelling. Hence, this movie is highly recommended as its definitely worth seeing whether you’re a kid or simply a child at heart. There’s just something for everyone in this film to like about. Just like how Moana’s follows her ancestors to the sea, so too does Disney with Moana, adopting its past to chart a path (or Wavefinding) towards its future of endless possibilities.