Sunday, January 12, 2020

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker

In 1977, the world was introduced to the Skywalker family.  In December 2019, decades of storytelling reached a powerful end.  Of course, there will continue to be Star Wars, but this was the end of the Skywalker Saga.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”, is a great new chapter, but also a healthy dose of nostalgia.  There are plenty of familiar sights scattered throughout.  What was even better is that there are well written reasons for every one of them to be included.  It wasn’t just a bunch of images shoehorned into the movie.

They also took some of the more questionable elements from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and gave them some more context.  That doesn’t mean everything suddenly makes sense, but more of it does.

The story arcs for some of the original characters came to an end as well.  Some still seemed to leave questions to be answered, but others were good.  Chewie has long been one of my favorite characters, and he finally gets his turn.  I won’t say what, but you will know exactly what I am talking about when it happens.  Of course, if you overthink it, there are some logistical problems with some of the storylines.  However, as a lifelong Star Wars fan, this felt like a good conclusion for some of the characters I have grown up with.  Although I still wish there had been at least one scene with the original team before all the events of “The Force Awakens” played out.

Of course, this is only the end of a particular story, not all of Star Wars.  I am excited to see where things go from here.  What do you think?  Was it what you wanted from the finale, or did they come up short?  We really want to hear from you in the comment section.  Just please keep it family friendly and no spoilers.

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, December 10, 2019

Frozen 2

Long anticipated would be a serious understatement on this one!  I think I’ve been waiting for Frozen 2 since the credits of Frozen rolled!  Disney did not disappoint.  The story takes a lot of twists and turns, so don’t blink -- and stay through the end of the credits!!

Everyone’s favorite snowman is back.  Josh Gad brings life to Olaf in a way no one else can!  Olaf is by far my favorite part of the Frozen movies.  He has a couple of scenes that really add some great humor to the story, as well as adding his own style of Olaf depth too!

It’s hard to talk much about our lead characters without spoiling the story, but I will say that Anna and Elsa prove yet again that the bond between siblings can’t be broken.  Bring some tissues with you to watch this because the story definitely takes some emotional turns.

The music for this film is phenomenal -- well, most of it anyway...some is just comical..but then - we all need to laugh sometimes.

The artistry of Frozen 2 is so amazing!  The scenes pull you in like you are right there next to the characters.  The time of year is conveyed really well and is so realistic.

It’s hard to go into much more without spoiling the storyline - so all I will say is, in the words of our founder, Jeremy - this movie is amazing!!  You definitely need to go see it at Essex Cinemas!

~Jenny

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, 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!