Friday, July 5, 2019

Toy Story 4

In 1995, we were introduced to the first full-length computer animated feature film, "Toy Story". I remember being amazed by how life-like it was. Funny to think now how different it looks compared to the animation in "Toy Story 4". Pixar has not only continued to raise the bar, in many cases they are actually inventing the new bar. I have grown up loving these movies, and the fourth installment is no exception.

I'll admit that I was a little skeptical when 4 was announced. "Toy Story 3" felt like a solid end to the story arc. Could they really make another movie work? The answer is yes. You join the gang, having found a great home with Bonnie and her other toys. One of the driving forces behind the success of the Toy Story series is the writing. A movie about the secret life of toys when humans aren't around seems like such a random concept, but there is so much heart that you really care about these characters.  That is thanks to great writing, great animation, and great acting.

There have been some reviews out there that are attacking “Toy Story 4” for lack of representation.  I would say that is not true.  Short of just swapping out characters for the sake of saying they did it, I believe they have really worked to increase their diversity.  For example, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele lend their voices to Ducky and Bunny.  These characters play a big role in the direction the story takes.  Even Bonnie and her family are part of the film’s representation.  Bonnie, the central focus of all of her toys.  The movie also has strong female characters, taking lead positions on either side of the conflict.

One of my favorite pieces of this movie is the message of acceptance.  What’s even better is the way they do it in the form of an extremely entertaining and likeable character.  As you have likely seen in the trailers, Bonnie makes a new toy named Forky.  A big piece of the story is about him finding his place after becoming Bonnie’s toy, despite his differences.

As I said, the animation is amazing.  The perspective changes to match the story.  When you are in a scene with Bonnie, you are looking at the toys through her eyes.  When the story shifts back to the toys, so does the view.  The attention to detail is also incredible, from the reflections on surfaces such as glass, to the materials each toy is made out of.  What is even better, is that you can tell they put thought into how each toy would move if they could.  Even if that might make you second guess the next ventriloquist dummy you see.

There was one issue I had with their attention to that detail.  It seems to have been established in the preceding movies that the toys are what they are.  Meaning unless they are made with changeable clothes, like Ken and Barbie for example, then they will always look like they do.  Buzz can’t change out of his spacesuit.  So why can Bo Peep, who is a figure on a lamp, suddenly change clothes?  Up until this point, it seemed that she was a porcelain figure of a woman in a dress that was also part of the figure.  I know this is a cartoon, so you have to suspend a certain level of real-world rules, but this is something that they have established within the movies.  If there is an explanation, I missed it.  Please let me know if you caught it.

I’ll have to get back to you on where the 4th installment falls on my list of favorites, but I definitely enjoyed it very much.  I fully recommend to everyone.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are too old for it.  It is great for kids, but the showing we went to was full of people who were kids when the first one came out.  I know our founder would have called it “Amazing”.  Would you?  Let us know what you think in the comments.  Please remember to keep it family friendly and spoiler-free.

See you at the movies!

-Brad-

Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 
The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 


Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Avengers: ENDGAME

Wow!  I going to just start right off by saying it.  Avengers: ENDGAME is AMAZING!!  There is no doubt that our Founder, Jeremy, would be saying that...A LOT!

Over the past 11 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken us on a journey that started in a cave, and took us to space to see the Avengers take on a certain mad titan.  The Russo Brothers take 21 movies, multiple plots and story arcs, and blend them together into a brilliant film.

It has some of everything that makes fans love the MCU.  Humor, action, and heart are all key components in the story, especially heart.  As it plays out, your emotions will be all over the place.  This is very possibly the best written script in the MCU so far.

The great script and direction is made even better by the acting.  The reason the MCU works so well is because you care about the characters.  Some have been building for the better part of 11 years.  Others have only turned up recently, but were connected to existing stories in a way that made them relevant early on.  Other studios try to do their own versions of these stories but don't give a foundation that makes you really care what happens.  Do yourself a favor and don't look at cast listings prior to seeing the movie, it will spoil a lot.

Marvel has always been big on Easter Eggs, and this movie looks like the Easter Bunny spent a lot of time there.  Still, they all fit in like they are meant to be there.  Connecting 21 movies into the same sequel is no easy task, and they have done it.  Even something as simple as a shot of a character eating Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream that was mentioned in Avengers: Infinity War adds to the continuity.  Also makes me hopeful that the flavors might become a thing.

It's hard to say much more about the movie without getting too close to spoilers.  It is an AMAZING movie.  I wish I could just tell you what I thought about every part, but this is a SPOILER-FREE zone.  Please comment below and let us know what you thought of the movie, or my review.  Just remember, Dr. Strange saw what happened over 14 million times and didn’t tell anyone.  Please be as cool as him.

See you at the movies!

-Brad-


Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 
The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 


Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Captain Marvel

There has been a lot of talk about the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel.  People are either really excited, or somehow already decided they don't like the "terrible" movie they had never seen.  I might suggest seeing it first, then decide.

In my opinion, it was great.  There was a great balance of action and substance.  The fight scenes didn't necessarily have the big epic feel of some other MCU films, but that is not a bad thing and is not to say it lacks excitement at all.

The acting was brilliant.  The emotion felt relatable for the most part.  For example, the humor was delivered in a very everyday manner.  I mean it wasn't forced, or a series of punchlines.  It was like you were watching friends cracking jokes with each other.  You also see an actor like Samuel L. Jackson, who is known for lines full of four letter words, and he is playing with a cat.  Things like that added to the impact of the more dramatic or action-packed scenes, because you see them in believable casual settings.

A lot of people came down hard on Brie Larson when she was cast in the lead role.  I feel that her more reserved acting brought a lot to the character.  She was a big part of what I was talking about with the emotion being something you can relate too.  For some reason, there was a lot of talk about Larson's lack of smiling in the trailers.  No spoilers here, but it wouldn't really make sense if she was smiling through the whole story.  I truly believe she was a great choice for this personification of Captain Marvel.

Marvel Studios seems to have taken a liking to making their characters look younger through makeup and after effects.  They do it again in "Captain Marvel" with Samuel L. Jackson, who delivers a performance that is a lot like I would have pictured Fury's early days at S.H.I.E.L.D..  With any luck, the coming movies with tell us even more about what happens with him in the time between the events of "Captain Marvel" and when he appears at the end of "Iron Man".  That also brings up another appearance in the movie that I for one was really looking forward to.  Since "Captain Marvel" takes place in the 1990s, Clark Gregg returned to the big screen as Agent Coulson for the first time since the first Avengers.  I am still hoping that the events of "End Game" somehow bring about some kind of reunion moment for Coulson and the Avengers.  Maybe somehow revealing the fact that he was one of the old friends Fury was referring to in "Age of Ultron".

When in comes to visual effects, Marvel Studios has certainly made a name for themselves in the industry.  While not every aspect of the computer graphics were absolutely top notch, overall it was another big win for them.  There were some places where the CG was a bit more obvious than they could have been, but it wasn't like it was badly done.  It just could have had a little more clean up done to the rendering.  As a whole, it was really well done.  It is not easy to create a movie that takes place on Earth, on an alien world, and in space, and they made it all flow very convincingly.

Obviously, there has also plenty of attention given to this being the first MCU movie with a female lead.  With that being said, one of the strongest attributes of this movie was how they managed to deliver on that message.  It was clear and present for pretty much the whole time, but it never felt like they were soap-boxing.  It it into the storyline extremely well.  Even the big moment of confidence and ability is something that everyone can feel good about.

Something fun about the movie are the 90s references.  By the looks of it, the movie makers had as much fun adding them as we will have finding them.  From the moment we see in the trailer when she crashes through the roof of a Blockbuster Video, the nostalgic Easter Eggs are never in short supply.  While there are a bunch of them, they always made sense in creating the setting.  The best Easter Egg is the cameo of the late, great, Stan Lee.  This one may even bring a tear to your eye, just in how fitting it felt.

Let's not forget this is a Marvel Studios movie, so don't leave before the credits are done.  More than that, make sure you are in your seat before the title sequence.  Marvel Studios have made the Marvel title into a feature of its own, but the opening of this one is the best one yet.

Our founder Jeremy would have certainly given this the "Amazing" seal of approval.  I fully recommend it to everyone.  There is plenty of action but no extreme violence.  In fact, the most startling moment in the movie is actually one of the funniest scenes in the movie.  After you see it, please comment with your opions, even if you don't like it.  We only ask that you keep it family-friendly and spoiler-free.

See you at the movies!

-Brad-

Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 
The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 


Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns


We’ve never been the ones to go to the movies on Christmas Day, but when life throws you one hard curve ball after another, you are forced to create new traditions. For our readers who don’t know – our Mom died this past May after an extremely short, but very courageous battle with cancer. In just 4 years, our little brother and our Mom have been ripped away from us – thus why we chose to create new Christmas traditions this year, because trying to do “normal” would have just hurt too much.

Ok, now on to the movie. We went to see Mary Poppins Returns. As a huge Mary Poppins fan, I was very excited about seeing this, and it didn’t disappoint at all! Emily Blunt brings her own style and flair to this iconic character and she does it so well. From the moment Mary Poppins arrives on screen, she owns the role. Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer portray the roles of Michael and Jane Banks perfectly. You instantly feel like we grew up right along with them, and like they do, long for the innocence of our childhoods, and you feel for them as they face all that adult life throws at us. Without spoiling the story, it can be assumed when talking about a Disney movie that inevitably someone dies, or has died before the story starts. In this movie, it’s Michael’s wife and you can rest assured that you need to bring tissues when watching this movie – especially when you have a back story like ours.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame, brings a very unique style to this film and he’s just wonderful! I said to my family after the movie that I could watch him sing and dance for hours. As Jack, Lin-Manuel brings delight and hope to the film and was clearly the perfect choice for this role. I love that the writers and producers gave him the chance to showcase his own style while keeping it right with the story.

The next generation of Banks children are adorable, lovable and unique! They bring a great dynamic to the movie. Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, and Joel Dawson have a great chemistry and what feels like a true sibling bond. As the story develops, you'll find yourself feeling for them, and loving them so much!

Mary Poppins Returns includes wonderful tributes to classic Mary Poppins scenes, while still holding true to it's own identity and telling it's own story. Be sure to watch for some amazing surprise cameos!

Without spoiling the story – there are a lot of fantastic life lessons in this movie. Please, please take note of them and do your best to live by them.

In the words of our founder, Jeremy, Mary Poppins Returns is AMAZING! I can't wait to see it again, and again!

Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 
The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 


Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!


Friday, December 21, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

All superhero movie fans have an opinion about their favorite big screen version of Spider-Man.  We have a strong new contender on that list now.  While many people who may have never read a comic book, probably have some idea who the wall-crawler is, even some comic readers are unsure of who Miles Morales is.  The introduction of this personification of Spider-Man is done in a very entertaining movie.

Something that makes this movie stand out from the start is the animation.  It is a completely different style than any other movie I have ever seen.  I admit that when the first trailer dropped, I was excited for the story, but I wasn't completely sure how the visuals would work in a full length movie.  Turns out...it was AWESOME!!  It is like you are inside a comic book, watching everything happen.

The voice talent was spot on.  The various forms of Spider heroes you've seen in the trailers come to life as the actors give great performances.

The story gets going right off.  You may be a bit surprised by the timeline of this origin story, but you will love it.

Remember this is a movie based on Marvel Comics.  While it isn't Marvel Studios, it is definitely worth staying until the end of the credits.  There is also one of the last cameos of Stan Lee.  The scene seems very fitting, and is perhaps one of his best.

It's school break, and seeing this movie is the perfect way to spend your time.  Our founder would call this one "Amazing". After you see it, please let us know what you thought.  Remember, no spoilers and keep the comments family friendly.  Any parents looking to bring their young kids?  Please feel free to comment if you have any questions about age appropriateness.

See you at the movies!

-Brad-

Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 
The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 


Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ralph Breaks The Internet

It's been 6 years since "Wreck-It Ralph" took us into the world of video games.  What else could they do with these characters to create a sequel?  Move on to the next game? Nope...they're heading for the internet.

The story jumps right in from the beginning.  They established where they've been since the first movie, but don't dwell on it before moving on to the adventure.  John C. Riley and Sarah Silverman return to voice Ralph and Vanelopie.  It's hard to create an on screen chemistry without actually being on screen together, but they nailed it.

Have you noticed how so many movies now are hiding "Easter Eggs" in their scenes?  Disney does a little of that here...in at least 90% of the movie.  I think the animators had some character models on file and just said, "Let's use this one, oh, and this one....How about we use them all?  Just to be safe."  Between charcters and a ton of internet puns and references, I'm not sure you'll ever find them all.  Don't worry, every one of them makes sense with the story, and are really well done.  There is even a very timely cameo in there.

While the movie is a load of fun, it also has a well told story about friendship and what it means to have roots and wings.  There are even some reasonable internet tioa hidden in jokes.

The visuals are incredible.  If you've ever wondered what the internet might actually look like, or "How does that get there from my computer?", the filmakers create a very compelling concept of what that might be.

Disney definitely doesn't disappoint with "Ralph Breaks The Internet". Our founder would stamp this one "Amazing". I fully recommend taking the family to see it on Thanksgiving weekend.  Disney has been influenced by owning Marvel, so be sure to stay rhrough the credits.  Post a comment and let us know what you think of the movie.

See you at the movies!


-Brad-


Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 

The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 



Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Christopher Robin

Life has a way of getting away from us. Sometimes we need to slow down and remember what it was like when we were younger, and our view of the world was simpler...more innocent.  That is the idea behind "Christopher Robin".

As the trailers show, Christopher has grown to a man since he last played in the 100 Acre Wood. In this movie, you can find out what happened after all those stories we grew up with.

“Christopher Robin” is a fun nostalgic experience, but it is also more than that. It is a story about family, friends, and what should be important in life. I have to admit, when I first saw the original trailer about Pooh finding him, and being real, I was thinking this was just going to be an attempt at a family friendly version of “Ted” (an extremely non-family friendly movie). I am happy to say that it isn’t.

It is a really well written story that keeps you engaged the whole time. There is a small word of warning. Christopher grew up in the early 1900s, which means there is reference to World War 1. It is still a very, very family friendly movie, just don’t mistake it for a Winnie the Pooh cartoon. It’s pretty much along the lines of Disney’s recent live action adaptations of “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast”.

The acting is terrific. The legendary voice of Jim Cummings is the perfect choice to bring life to Pooh ear. Add to that the other amazing voice talents, some veterans some new, and you will be brought back to the “enchanted neighborhood, of Christopher’s childhood days.”

For the majority of the story, Christopher Robin is all grown-up and portrayed by Ewan McGregor.  He really connects with the character and gives you a real sense of the history of the character and how he went from the young boy in the 100 Acre Wood to the man we meet in the movie. Hayley Atwood joins McGregor as Evelyn, Christopher’s wife. She proves her strength, even in a supporting role, and provides an important drive to the story. Comic movie fans probably noticed that Agent Carter was married to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The visuals for this movie are simpler than many recent CG releases, but that is perfect for this movie.  They could have easily gone 3D, with big sweeping views of the scenery. Given the design, that would have been a great thing to watch, but it would have distracted from the feel of this film.

Whether or not you grew up reading and/or watching the stories of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh like I did, I really recommend this movie. It is more toned down than some, but that really is a plus here. Our Founder, Jeremy, would have called it “Amazing”. Check it out and let us know what you think.

See you at the movies!


-Brad-




Thank you to ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX for being the theater of choice for our movie reviews. When you are looking for the best place to check out a movie, make it ESSEX CINEMAS and T-REX at the Essex Outlets Center in Essex, VT! 








The T-Rex Theater is AMAZING!!! With the 60 foot curved screen and 124 speakers which is part of 7.1 Digital Surround Sound, there are 401 extra wide luxury seats with memory-foam headrests making a movie theater trip you will never forget! T-Rex stands for “Theater Real Extreme” 










Also check out movies in Plattsburgh, New York at Cumberland 12!