Posts Tagged ‘review’

life-animatedThe trailer was was so intriguing that the whole family went to the Spectrum Theatre in Albany on a Saturday night to see the movie Life, Animated.

Back in 2014, I happened to see Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Ron Suskind being interviewed on some program, talking about his then-new book Read the rest of this entry »

Love-FriendshipThe Wife suggested that we see Love & Friendship at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. I had no idea what it was, except that it was based on some Jane Austen novella, “Lady Susan”, which I had never heard of. The movie was written and directed by Whit Stillman.

In its favor: the opening credits, which moved along to the music. Overlays to explain who each character was, some rather humorously rendered. And the always scheming Lady Susan Vernon Read the rest of this entry »

finding-dory-movieDespite some positive reviews in Rotten Tomatoes (94% at this writing), I was a tad wary to see the new Pixar/Disney film Finding Dory. This comes from my basic lack of trust in sequels, though I liked the Toy Story franchise.

My family was at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany with about 25 other people, and The Daughter was one of only two children; I expect the kiddies had gone earlier in the day, which was Father’s Day.

In case someone had not seen Finding Nemo – it WAS 13 YEARS AGO Read the rest of this entry »

OJ-Made-in-AmericaSeriously, I didn’t know it was going to be on, but came across it flipping through the channels. On the heels of the popular The People v. O.J. Simpson, part of the American Crime Story series on the FX network – which I did not see – comes O.J.: Made in America, a sprawling five-part documentary on the cable sports network ESPN.

Many people know about the bizarre low-speed chase of Simpson’s Ford Bronco, Most are aware of the “trial of the century,” an appellation that may very well be correct. At least in the United States, almost EVERYONE had an opinion about the former football player’s guilt or innocence in the murders of his estranged wife Nicole Brown, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The most mild-mannered person I have ever known was incensed when Simpson was acquitted of the crimes, as was most of white America. Yet many black Americans literally cheered the verdict. This phenomenon is established fact. What the documentary explains Read the rest of this entry »

jungle-book-2016I’ve never read the 1894 stories by Rudyard Kipling known as the Jungle Book. Nor did I ever catch the 1967 film that was the last full-length animated film produced by Walt Disney himself. And no copy exists in the Albany Public Library; I may have to get a copy through interlibrary loan.

I have watched scenes of the older film featuring the songs I Wanna Be Like You and especially The Bare Necessities.

So seeing the 2016 version, done with special effect animals and scenery, plus a real boy (Neel Sethi as Mowgli) in the center of the action, was a very different experience. The technological challenge was daunting for director Jon Favreau, who has piloted such diverse fare as Iron Man and Chef.

He succeeded.

My wife claims that I flinched more in this film that the three of us saw at Albany’s Madison Theatre on Sunday than she can recall, especially with the appearances of angry tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba). I recognized right away the voice of Bill Murray as the crafty bear Baloo, and that was actually a relief after all the action that had taken place up to that point.

All the voice actors were quite fine: Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, the panther; Lupita Nyong’o as Mowgli’s wolf mother, Raksha; Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, the wolves’ father; and Scarlett Johansson as the snake Kaa. The late Gary Shandling had a small role as Ikki, the porcupine. Even Favreau got into the act as a pygmy hog, and used his kids Madeline and Max as Raquel the rhino and a young wolf.

Still, the standout, both visually and aurally, may be King Louie, voiced by Christopher Walken, who’s seeking the “red flower.” My spouse, who’s not a Walken fan, even said so. This is NOT Walt’s Louie.

If The Daughter had been five, I believe this film would have terrified her, but as a tween, she’s more impervious to scary movie action.

This is a fine film. Read SamuraiFrog’s review.

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